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Lung resection - am I a 'vulnerable person' when it comes to coronavirus?

Shan_E profile image

I had a lung resection four years ago, recovered well and am now fit and healthy. I'm under 70, no health conditions, but I was advised to have flu jabs, so should I count myself as a 'vulnerable person' in terms of the government's coronavirus advice?

10 Replies

World Health Organization states that older populations should take extra care to avoid Covid19. If you are over 60 you should consider yourself in that ‘vulnerable person’ classification for that reason alone.

Sending hope you stay well and are not affected by this health wise.

Hi Shan_E

I am in the same position as you resection over seven years ago 56 year old healing in every other way . I've been trying to find out if I'd be considered vulnerable ? . I don't know if I should apply my GP or is that a waste of time ?, I'm still working part time as a mental health nurse in my local hospital .

Any advice welcome .


Denzie profile image
Denzie in reply to janeg4

Talk to your Human Resources persons. Hope you get an answer quickly.

I had a lobectomy 9 years ago but in the last 4 years or so have been hospitalised each year with a different chest infection/virus - last year isolated with RSV that like coronavirus attacks the cells' RNA and in previous years pneumonia and pseudomonas (remains in the body as an antibiotic resistant infection) - the latter I believe acquired whilst in hospital with pneumonia some months earlier. I have continued to work as considered myself fit (also a regular swimmer) but on Friday, the head of our regional crisis coordination hub for coronavirus (I'm involved in the NHS commissioning side) pulled me on one side and told me 'for your own protection, you should be ultra careful and stay away from the office as the virus is out there in the community'. In my area so far we have had one confirmed case. I'm 61, have a 'flu jab each year and recently a pneumonia jab so believe I would fall into the 'vulnerable' group - more due to recent respiratory weakness from infections and reduced immunity from so many steroids in recent years including this January. I have been sobered by the situation in Italy where I lived for 2 years the mid 1990s and the rapid spread of the virus amongst the population so for now, I think erring on the side of caution without panicking is probably wise. The recommendation for the UK is 'from this weekend' so I'm going to visit my 87 yr old mum (with dementia so will be frightened) then pull away from 'less vital' work meetings/gatherings. Being self employed, this will financially impact but better than developing it or passing it onto others more vulnerable than me. I guess people will judge for themselves in the absence of a blanket ban on social movement but hopefully if the majority heed the advice, the spread will slow or be contained. China after a slow start moved quickly in shutting down all society but despite it slowing, it is still there and there are whole swathes of China that have not had it at all yet.

I’m in a similar position and don’t know which category I fit in to. I had a wedge resection, chemo and radiotherapy 7 years ago and more recently 2 years of immunotherapy that ended in January 2019. I’m considered stable but still do have cancer. My family are super concerned and have begged me to self isolate as they consider me vulnerable. As much as I hate to see myself as vulnerable I don’t want to see my hubby or children worried more than they usually are so as tough as it is, I’m going to stay put for the foreseeable.x

Update I was day shift contacted occupational health and was advised that I was in the at risk category . I'm off work now and trying to self isolate .

Best wishes


Thank you to everyone who replied. I was sure I wouldn't be the only one who needed an answer to this question, so I hope everyone's comments have been helpful for other people too - they have certainly given me food for thought. My heart goes out to all the people waiting for test results or waiting for treatment in these terribly worrying times, it makes online support even more important than usual, so thanks again to everyone.

I am in a similar position. Seeing my consultant this week - I will ask and will post here. I have already been told on the phone that I’m in the “at risk” category “.

NicF4 profile image

Hi Shan-E

We are aware that some people are finding the current guidlines a bit difficult to interperet. Given that you have had lung surgery within the last few years it would be wise to social distance as much as possible. We do know that covid 19 is primarily affecting the respiratory system, so those that have had lung surgey or treatment should think about including themselves in the vulnerable categery. Although you are feeling fit and healthy, we do know that those that have had lung surgery are more prone to chest infections that may or may not require hospital treatment.

Guidence is currently changing daily and we are paying close attention to it so we can best advise patients and families dealing with lung cancer treatments.

we as a charity are in the process of setting up home working as per government guidence, so our ask the nurse service and healthunlocked will be running throughout this period. So please use us if you have any questions or need to chat

Our Ask the Nurse service can be reached on 0800 358 7200 or email

Hello all. I have been told by my consultant today to treat myself as a 12 week isolation case. He said I can go out to walk etc but avoid supermarkets and all the other obvious places where there are people. He said my husband could do the supermarket etc but he had to be scrupulous with hygiene when he comes back in obviously. ! He wasn’t doom and gloom - most of Doctor’s know how aware of our own conditions we all are. I am a fit and well “lobectomy 3 and 1/2 years ago person!

I think we all know that we are a bit more vulnerable, but only if we actually get it of course, and will all be sensible! Let’s keep talking. X

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