Rescue Packs

I have only been a member of the group a short while and rescue packs have come up on posts a couple of times. I still do not know what stage I am. I have been offered a rescue pack but said no. I got a strange look from the GP but as I explained as of yet I have not the experience to judge when to take them and as my surgery does a daily emergency session at 4.30 every afternoon I am never far from help. I am a member of another COPD group and frequently the question comes up should I start my rescue pack? They say mucus has changed colour, but then is it viral or bacterial? They say I am coughing more but is it an inflammatory response? I know a lot of you know their condition very well and are well able to judge their need but at this present I do not feel that they are for me unless I am better educated or gain more experience. How do the other Newbies feel about this?

18 Replies

  • I can understand totally how you are feeling if you are new to your particular condition and don't yet feel accustomed to your particular signs of infection and it is great you have access to emergency help.

    I would however consider what you would do if you became ill over a holiday period, when I assume the expertise at the surgery would not be available to you.

    A very warm welcome to you Badbessie - love the name!


  • Got a drop in centre a few miles down the road 24/7. Bessie is my is a great English mastiff cross. Very gentle baby! As a puppy she ate two settees, managed to dig a hole through my front room wall into the kitchen...the list goes on and on with crimes she as committed...However she turned out to be the best dog I have ever had! With all my problems she made me laugh with her antics and perhaps motivated me more than anything.

  • Well that's good. I can see where the name came from now;-) cx

  • Rescue packs should always be accompanied by a detailed self-management plan completed by a respiratory nurse with instructions of when/under what circumstances the pack should be taken. When you have had the condition for a while you learn to recognise the signs. For some this is thicker or more sputum, for others it is the change in colour, a shortening of breath or a rise in temperature. And it is so important to hit any infection as quickly as possible before any further lung damage occurs and/or a hospital admission becomes necessary.

    The most recent NICE guidance strongly recommends that patients at risk of having an exacerbation are given self-management advice that encourages them to respond promptly to symptoms of an exacerbation. This is based on the highest level of evidence. NICE also recommend the use of rescue packs.

  • Sadly Mrsmummy whatever the guidelines say from my own experience and reading of the experiences of others this is not the case for many.

  • I agree that some are unsure but many thousands more bless having the right medication and the opportunity to use it at the right time. Unfortunately they are much less likely to post about it as it has become part of their routine. :)

  • I totally agree, but there is an obvious lack of education concerning concerning COPD. My mother in law was diagnosed with COPD two weeks ago, she was not told what stage she was, nor anything else from getting her pneumonia jab etc, no dietary advice even though she as a low BMI, no referral for rehab nothing! I gave her a copy of the BLF passport and she is going to see the Doctor again. All the nurse told her was see you next year

  • Some of us (a lot of us) do get a very poor service. This place is where most get the details of their disease.

  • A management plan dont exist at our surgery xx

  • It should. Have you asked about one? Some surgeries are reluctant to provide a rescue pack. Please give the BLF helpline a call on 03000 030 555 for advice. They will be open on Monday during office hours.

  • Hi, I totally understand how you feel, I have had rescue packs for years but only over the past few years i was told i had an other lung condition but without a byopsi they cant confirm exactly what it is so it's been trial and error medication for the white thing on my lungs as i call it as that all i could see was white on the ct scan, anywsy since then i have not been as confident as i had been for years especially when I left it a bit late a couple of timrs lastyear and ended up with type 2 respiratory failure so i just go and see gp or pharmacist and if a holiday doctor has adbised to call emergency services as they have my details as i eas asked to give them concent incase of emergency so they know what I have if i csnt tell them my self

    But I have been fine since i got home in october with oxygen at home , but i have see gp several times and been given high dose steroids and antibiotics several times whete as before I would just increase my maintenance dose of prednisolone myself and leave it to long as i didnt want to go to hospital but lessons learned.

    If you are not comfortable then better safe thsn sorry but get professional help or advice dont just leave it .

    Sorry for the long rant i dont mran to scare you, i swore by my rescue pack fir years and it work for years .

    Take care Loraine x

  • I would never leave a chest infection but prefer to get checked over before taking high dose steroids and antibiotics. Thankyou for your concern.

  • I take daily (same time of day) blood pressure, temp & spo2 ( saturation point of oxygen ) readings daily along with how I feel. If any of the readings are out of kilter with my normal then I will think about starting my rescue pack. I have only used them once and that was on the advice of the therapist at Pulmonary Rehab having done those same tests. Fingers crossed (albeit wishful thinking) I don't have to need them again.

  • Good system, I too take a manual blood pressure, spo2 readings etc, mainly to monitor my vital signs before, during and after exercise.Obvious I am learning to recognise my own boundaries and responses etc. I am sure at some point I will get a rescue pack but I want to feel at this point they are not for me.

  • i understand where your coming from but I have been to the doctors and they cant always make up their minds if it is a chest infection or not but still give you antibiotics as in their words they don't want to take the chance ,if they cant decide don't give us a lot of hope does it , one of them doctors never gives out antibiotics unless he is really forced to so much so that he hasn't given them to people who have had infections else where on the body and have ended up in A &E

  • I totally know where you are coming from ,I do have a rescue pack but because they are saying dont take antibiotics if its viral and steroids are so bad for you I refuse to take them now unless I am seen and checked out at the surgery .The trouble is COPD makes you feel crappy anyway so it gets harder to know when you really need them .Better to be safe than sorry I say xx

  • I Agree in some ways. My point is that the packs are given to people with very little education on how to use them. Then like you they are told not to use them if viral or don't use the steriods if no inflammation. Sorry the only sure way is lab tests as even the doctors can get it wrong at times.

  • My GP has just chosen to withdraw my rescue pack without consultation with me. I only found out when I got my monthly delivery and found both items absent. This caused me lots of distress as I needed them for an exacerbation and ended up having a horrible phone argument with a doctor I've never used before who refused to supply any and insisted I crawled in to the surgery which was very distressing as I could barely put one foot in front of the other. He ended up supplying 2 lots of antibiotics and steroids, one for immediate use and one for future back-up, but refused to acknowlege my original doctor had been wrong. It's like a masonic lodge, the medical profession.

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