Chest infection and treatment


A quick update from my side - my dad has been bed-bound since July 2015 - he aspirated and had a PEG tube, and his carbidopa-levodopa was also stopped due to terrible leg spasms (this meant he could not swallow anymore, unknown to me) - it was restarted in Oct and he started eating/drinking/communicating

2 weekends ago, he acquired a suspected UTI - he was started on an antibiotic - 5 days later, he acquired a bad throat which turned out into a really horrible chest infection - I rushed him to the hospital - the doctors gave him an antibiotic and nebulized him - they wanted to do throat-suctioning as well but I refused, telling them to give him a sedative and nebulize him and I will ensure he stays in recovery position so the saliva can become thin and drool out (my dad suffers a lot during throat suctioning - and the phlegm had not gone into his windpipe so he wasn't choking) - he went to sleep after the sedative and coughed a couple of times every hour - about 12 hrs later it was much better and 24 hrs later almost cleared up - he had a fever which went away 6 hrs later as well (he was soaked, I changed him twice)

The doctors wanted to hospitalize him for 3 or 4 days - but I wanted to take him back ASAP - for one thing, the risk of infection is higher and I do all the caring myself (with my mom's help) so there was really no point - I hired a nurse to do private visits every 8 hrs for the IV injection - the main reason, though, was that my dad realized he was in hospital, the harsh lights and other patients in ER crying out in pain etc. distressed him a lot - when he went to his room, he had tears in his eyes even though he could not put the idea into words.. I guess he did not want his last days in an unfamiliar stark room (PSP patients get disturbed out of their regular circumstances) - I understood and explained to him that I will take him back the next day - thankfully he responded well to the medication and the doctors agreed too

Now that he is back, I am taking extra care - keeping his room at at least 21-22 C - making sure he drinks slightly warm water, eats properly and is hydrated - we used his PEG tube for medicines only since he started eating and drinking but during his sickness my mom and I discussed and we will use it to give some soup as well - I intend to use the PEG tube in future for water as well, in addition to medicines - I am against the idea of using it for regular food though, since it can prolong life in a situation where the patient's body has already given up (at least for my dad, it may vary for other people)

So, my rant ends here - I hope someone else may get one or two hints to help them out

2 Replies

  • Thats a good rant! I feel your dad's relief to be back home! Make sure other foods can go in the PeG tube....or at least flush well so that food doesn't decay in tube....not sure what protocol is on that.

    Take Care,


  • Hi Sammy. Glad to hear that your dad is back home and getting a bit better. Hubby had a PEG which worked very well. However we were told not to give anything through the tube other than the special PEG food , water and liquid medication. the reason given was that the tube can get blocked. Take care, maddy.

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