Bronchiectasis and Haemophilius Influenza Vaccination

Hello everyone - I’m looking for some advice if anyone could help?

My mother is currently in hospital and is fighting another chest infection. She has been on gentamicin through IV and her chest infection is slowly clearing. However this is the normal pattern of things.

My mother also has bronchiectasis which the doctors on the ward state is the recurring reason for the constant chest infections (at least 10 2 week stays in hospital over the last 2 years due to this).

There has been haemophilius influenza present in previous sputum and blood tests however this has never been treated - the sequence of events seem to get the infection under control then Mum goes home however there is no plan to treat any under lying condition only the infection that is present. It is normally only a matter of a month or two before she is back in again with another infection and lungs full of gunk.

After reading on here from previous suffers of this condition my question is does the haemophilius influenza vaccination work? Mums condition and symptoms all point to H.I being present again now (although the doctors this morning have said it is not present currently - however trying to find out if it was present when she came in is another task entirely).

Mum also has had immunoglobulin treatment sporadically as she was diagnosed non Hodgkins 3 years ago and sees the haematology dept twice yearly (and finished her only cycle of chemo back in Sept 2014).

Given the bronchiectasis would the H.I vaccine help as it’s certainly been a factor in mums blood previously?

Thanks

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Phew, your poor mum. Are they treating her bronch, ie have they taught her to clear her lungs daily? If not, no wonder she has recurring infections.

Did you ask her consultant about the flu jab? You could also ring BLF help line for expert advice 03000 030555 UK office hours.

Many people in UK take prophylactic antibiotic 3 x weekly to help keep infections at bay. How kind you are to be so concerned for her well being. I wish her well. P

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Hi P, thanks for the info greatly appreciated! Yes she has a contraption to help daily to clear mucus and has also recently had the flu jab - also has a long term antibiotic to help with fighting infections but they still keep coming :( I will certainly look to contact the BLF and seek their advice.

Many thanks :)

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Hi reedyboy8 I'm sorry to hear your mum is in hospital and has has been so many times I can't answer your question as up until reacently I had never heard of h i , I was diagnosed with it about 6 weeks ago now and I can tell you until a few days ago I felt I was going to die and was so afraid. It's a bad infection to have I think so you should find out from your mums consultant if the vaccine would work it may help her and is worth a try. Until you posted this I didn't know there even was a vaccination for h i . I was told only 2 antibiotics get rid of it from your chest doxycycline and clarithromycin my specialist told me this so I tried doxycycline 3 times 7dsys each time but all I done was be very sick and my gp wouldn't give me the other due to them stopping my apixiban from working, thankfully now I am now on the clarithromycin and iv noticed a big improvement after 3 days , thank you for sharing your post as iv never heard of this until I finally got tested for it and was going to post to see if anyone could offer advice. I do hope your mum is feeling better soon and is home quickly infection free. Best wishes 🌹

Hi Shazrab - thank you and thank you for sharing you story also hope you have a speedy recovery from your infection too! My mum has also had doxycycline and clarithromycin previously lots of times and as recently as 3 weeks ago.. this was given to her by a GP on a home visit (although we requested she be sent to hospital as we have seen the signs many times before) the doxycycline pushed the infection down but not to any point near where she could walk to the shop over the road for instance and could only manage a few steps around her flat before being really breathless - her condition deteriorated and we got her to the hospital where she is currently on her 10th day on the antibiotic IV drip which seems to have done the trick almost.. for now... the infection will come back I’m 100% certain of it. The H.I vaccine is available but obviously if H.I is present and the specialist feel it would help. We are awaiting to speak to the haematology department next for more info and see if the H.I jab will be of benefit (which we hope it will). Good luck with your recovery and thanks for sharing your story I wish you well 😊

Hi LauraJoy thanks for the information and will tread very carefully as we go. You are correct we wouldn’t want to suggest or recommend anything without the say so or go ahead from the professionals and specialist in this field and from those that have suffered also including yourself. I have read your advice and thank you for taking the time to respond. God speed and thank you 🙏

I have a flu jab every year, and also had the jab for H.I. The only infection that is not completely possible to completely cure, is Pseudomonas. Once you have it, it's always there in the background.

Hello Reedyboy. I have had bronchiectasis all of my life and am now 67.Having read the replies to your post I feel that I must say a few things.

Firstly, some of the explanation for your Mother’s repeated infections ( and also her developing bronch) could lie in the fact that her immune system is compromised by the non Hodgkinsons and the treatment for it.

Given that. When she is treated by her GP for an infection she will need the right antibiotic ( for HI it seems) in a high enough dose for at least 14 days. many GPs do not understand bronch and tend to treat it like COPD. This way the bugs are not dealt a killer blow, have a party and hey presto, hospital and IVs.

HI is the bug which I used to get all through my childhood and early adult life. Since 1986 I have been colonised with pseudomonas which needs a different antibiotic and more aggressive treatment. I still live a full and active life.

If your Mother does not have a specialist bronch consultant I suggest that you go about finding one. They are usually at large teaching hospitals. General respiratory consultants often know little about treating bronch but don’t like to admit it. Take the name to your GP and insist on a referral on the grounds that her treatment so far is ineffective and that given her non Hodgkins she needs specialised care for the bronch. Do Not take no for an answer. It is perfectly possible with expert help, for your Mother to get control of her bronchiectasis and gain a better quality of life than she has at present.

In addition, one of the most important things when you have bronchiectasis is to get the flu jab. Believe me. Flu and bronch are no joke, I would suggest though that she checks this with her oncologist.

Good luck.

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What a brilliant reply littlepom. Pete and l always have a flu jab every year. I’m due the pneumonia jab too. Xxxx

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