British Lung Foundation
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Viral infction or not

This is what I thought. I had gone to the hospital with a high temperature and coughing green phlegm. The radiography asked if I was coughing blood. I said no, but I feel ill. She told me to wait so she could ask the doctor and she came back and said the doc will write to your doctor. Next morning a woke with shivers then sweating and took my temperature and it was going on for a 102, I felt so ill I called an ambulance and in meantime took paracetamol. At the hospital they took bloods and decided to do another xray, to which I said I only had one yesterday, look at that, but no they wanted to do another one. This is st.thomas hospital I'm talking about. They then tell me that I have a Viral Infection and give me Doxycycline and steroids. I was told my bloods were ok my xray was ok even though I'm coughing green phlegm. I thought antiobiotics are usless for a viral.

What I want to know is, what did the Radiographer see that the Doctor couldn't. I'm back at the doctors this morning as my temperature is up and I'm going hot and cold again. I do have COPD and I'm supposed to have backup medication. I've been on Doxycycline but I think Im immnued to it now and it's not doing anything for me. What do I do

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Hi, you're right of course that ABs don't work for viruses but often they are given to copd patients as a prophylactic against the virus developing into a bacterial infection. You sound like you've been really poorly. You need to discuss your concerns re being immune to doxy with your GP. Wishing you better asap :)

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Hi,

Thanks for your input. Since I last posted, I called ambulance on Thurs and they took me back to St. Thomas' where they went thru the whole procedure again, xray, blood test, etc and came to the conclusion again that I didn't have an infection even though I was coughing the green phlem and had a temp of 102, although this time that took blood to culture and kept me in and 2 days later informed me that I had pneumonia. I was given Co-Amoxiclave and steriods and they have started working and I feel almost back to normal. They are discussing, with my Doctor what Rescue Pack to give me for the home.

I plan on doing some Pulmonary exercises once I get the go ahead from the Cardiac doctor as I'm waiting for a stent to be put in my heart - hope I don't have to wit too long as they have already put my Cardiac appointment back 3 times already.

Thank you for your concern.

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To answer your question about the radiographer seeing things that the doctor didn't it really depends on what was seen:) A radiographer sees hundreds of scans and x-rays and I wuld think kind of gets to know when something just does not seem right, it could be nothing but it could be something. I know that quite often when I look at an engineering drawing or cost estimate I get this kind of "this looks or feels wrong" feeling and then I go deeper into things to find out why. I would think that doctors being so heavily worked these days they do not get enough time to really delve deep into things the way the radiologist does so sometimes he will miss a small imperfection.

I think that good health care is a team effort and it takes a range of different people to make sure that you get the best care. I know that my "team" consists of me, my pulmonary doctor, my radiologist, my chemist, and the nurse who takes my bloods and vital signs each time I go to the hospital. Oh and must not forget my wife and friends who keep pushing me to do things even when I don't feel like it:) Oh and now I have added the people on this forum as well for their support and kind words.

Without all these people I think I would be a complete wreck.

Andrew

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Poor you..green flegm is a sign I have to take my rescue antibiotics and steroids. Well it usually starts with a winter virus and ends up in a chest infection, especially if you have a lung disease.

If you have finished your doxy and you are still unwell or if it isn’t doing any good I would go back to the GP or A&E.

You can always phone the BLF helpline for guidance.

Take care x

Fran

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Hi, i have severe copd and have amoxicillin as a rescue pack along with steroids, howevere on a couple of occasions these didnt work as the infection was resistant. I do have regular problems so my doctor gave me sputum pots and as soon as i feel i have an infection comming i do a sample and get it in to my doctors. There is a downside to this, and that is how efficient your surgery is. If you have a good doctors, you will have the results and right antibiotics for the job in 4 or 5 working days, however when i changed surgeries and did a sample, it took 2 and half weeks and led to me spending 4 weeks in hospital with pneumonia and the surgery having a formal complaint made against it.

Best wishes and good luck

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Hi,

Thank you for this information. I will mention this to my doctor so that I can get some sputum pots. Waiting for results for this test could be quicker in the long run that being ill for 2 months without anything meds working.

Regards

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I have been in your position for a week, the shivering and waking up on a wet pillow and having no energy and not being able to eat very much. Mine started after visiting son in hospital who had contracted it there. Started on emergency abs and steroids and now recovering. Other family have been the same, seem to have been doing the rounds for at least a month. Hope your better soon

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I had a chest X-ray this week and my consultant wants to discuss it with a radiographer as he is not sure about it, they obviously have more experience of looking at them ... I have been ill for five weeks now with this virus saw my asthma nurse at the hospital this morning and she was horrified that I hadn't been checked for flu so she swabbed my throat to see what's going on. There are some nasty bugs out there, I have had two lots of antibiotics and they have not made any difference but with bad chests I think they give us them just in case it's a bug

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Viruses in lung compromised people can often become bacterial infections. All that mucus in the lungs & tubes is a perfect, warm environment for breeding bugs.

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