Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Very severe COPD patient
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Very severe COPD patient

My husband was diagnosed 6 yr ago with VERY SEVERE COPD..He has all 3 components i.e. the emphysema, asthma & chronic bronchitis.
He does not smoke.. quit about 10 yr ago.
He has just come from the doctor with yet another diagnosis of bronchitis, and wanted me to ask if there is anything he can do to avoid it, and/or if there is any certain antibiotic that would do *the job* in getting rid of it.  I know doctors have told him that the cold weather is not good for him.. his answer to that is why did I get it in August.  He is presently being with a shot(again) and Augmentin(875), which he just finished a little over a week ago.  Any suggestions would be welcome..
Thank you so much..
Related Discussions
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The description suggests acute bronchitis.  This is also called bronchitis.  People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can get bronchitis during any season of the year.  It is often caused by an infection, which can be due to a bacteria or a virus.  It responds well to antibiotics, when it is due to a bacterial infection.  Augmentin is a good drug for this purpose.

To avoid bronchitis, he should avoid extremes of hot and cold temperatures.  When your husband must be out in the cold, he should wear a cold weather mask that can be purchased at any pharmacy.  Avoiding crowds in the winter may also help.

Frequent good hand washing and the use of disposable tissues can decrease the number of acute bronchitis infections.  Your husband should ask his health care provider about the yearly flu shot.
10 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi...I am sorry to hear of your fathers unfortunate problems. The antibiotic he is on, Augmentin(amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium)is a good choice to treat the bronchitis. However with COPD, this may be something that will continue to recur. Is your father in any type of rehab program? I ask because this may be something that will help him with his overall condition and help him improve his daily activities and overall quality of life. I do not know how "severe" your father is, so I don't know if this is an option. Also, a diet that is appropriate for COPD patients would certainly be beneficial to him.
His doctor is the ultimate source of answers for the questions you have. The recurring bronchitis is part of COPD. So as I stated before, he may continue to have these infections. the rehab and diet as positive attitude can certainly make life easier and improve the well being of such patients. I hope all goes well...take care.
                                           JCI, RRT RCP
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your reply.. It is my HUSBAND,, not my father.  At his last pulmonary function testing(in the spring)his FEV1 was at 23%.. that was UP believe it or not from a yr ago when it was 19%.  He has had rehab, but is done with it, and goes out each day to help our son on the farm.  Of course he can do almost nothing that requires physical exertion, but he can drive tractor in an AC cab, so that is a huge help..both to my son AND to him, as it gives him a sense of accomplishment.  He would go crazy confined to the house, and probably so would I!!  I think he just plain thought that if we could find the *cause* of bronchitis, it could be eliminated,, I didn't  think so.... So onward we trudge..
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Avatar_n_tn
I have no medical training or background and am sure the LungLine nurse who moderates this Forum will have some great ideas.  As a COPD patient, I had some thoughts your husband may wish to consier:
Check with the doctor whether it might be useful to try a different antibiotic (like perhaps Biaxin) and perhaps a longer course of it than usual, so the infection is totally cleared & doesn't mutate & reappear; sometimes the infection lingers and mutates to reappear with a vengance after the antibiotic is stopped.  He may also wish to discuss with his doctor whether he should wear some sort of mask or other protective gear to minimize inhaling irritants while he's doing his farm work.  Also, has he been tested for allergies?  Sometimes allergies can cause post nasal drip that can be the beginning of yet another bout of bronchitis.  Working with his doctor to take  appropriate preventative medication and/or allergy shots might be useful if he DOES have allergies.
Starion
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Avatar_n_tn
My sincere apologies for mistaking your father for your husband. I guess my mind-set was geared towards speaking about someones father. Again, I apologize.
I agree with Starion in that the nurse should have some other ideas and also to maybe try another medication. However, he may also try a longer course of augmentin as well. Too many antibiotics for too long of a period can also cause what starion is refering to, that is bacteria that become drug resistant. I'm glad to hear that he does have some activity in his life. I, too, would go nuts just "sitting around". I think that as long as he is in the AC cab and not exposed to the sometimes hazardous environment of a farm, he may be OK.
As for the cause of the bronchitis, again I believe this to be related to his overall condition. Chronic Bronchitis is defined as three or more diagnoses lasting at least two weeks each time. I hope that made sense. In other words, having chronic bronchitis three or more times in a year and each time lasting at least two weeks. Chronic bronchitis is one of the five diseases that make up COPD. The others being asthma, emphysema, bronchiectasis, and cystic fibrosis. So the cause just may be environmentally related and the increased frequency of infections may be due to his overall condition relating to his lungs and immune system. I hope this helps. Best of luck to you and your husband...take care.
                                  JCI, BS RRT
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh my goodness...please forgive me for totally mixing up my terminology and numbers regarding the diagnosis for chronic brochitis. I rather doubted myself after my last post so I referenced my notes and chronic bronchitis is termed as "...sputum production of unknown etiology for 3 MONTHS per year for 2 successive YEARS." I said "weeks" in my last posting and I wanted to correct myself. Take care and best wishes...
                                   JCI, BS RRT
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Avatar_n_tn
Starion and Rtfly.. Thanks so much for your comments.. And RT please don't worry about the husband/father mistake.. Golly, if there were no mistakes worse than that in this world, it would be nothing short of a miracle..  Husband does have 3 of the COPD components..Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma.. They have not tested him for allergies, which I too wonder about, as he also has chronic sinusitis, and this drainage in my opinion is at least a part of the reason for the chronic bronchitis.  I do wonder if it is caused by some allergy that could be treated to help alleviate some of the problem..  He still is not feeling too well, and I think that he is going to return to the doctor today.. that will relieve the concerns that I am having about whether or not the bronchitis has progressed to pneumonia.. That would be a whole new problem.
Thank you again for your replies..
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Avatar_n_tn
I would definitely recommend he get to the doctor if he's doing poorly.  The doctor can help determine whether he has pneumonia & get it treated promptly.  Lung infections are very serious for those of us with lung conditions, so get him to the doc--TODAY!  Starion
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Avatar_n_tn
I had bronchitis years ago that it got so bad that I couldn't breath very well when the weather got cold. Every winter, I would catch flu very easy and I would get fever and it wouldn't go away for months. Also my ears and sinus were all infected. I didn't know what to do. One day my coworker left a magazine on my table and the front page read "garlic cures all diseases". I was curious so I tried to eat raw garlic but it was too hot and my fellow workers didn't like the smell of it. A friend told me to go buy a bottle of garlic softgel. At that time it cost around 2-3 dollars a bottle for 100. I wanted to breath normal again so bad that I took about 8 softgels a day for seven days straight. On the eigth day, it was amazing that my breathing was back to normal again just like before I had the bronchitis. I kept taking more of it and my sinus and ears infection all went away. The greatest thing is I stop getting the flu. I haven't had flu for the last 12 years. I don't know if garlic has something to do with the immune system or not but in my case, it worked like a miracle for me. I told my family and friends to use garlic but they didn't seem to care too much about it. In your case, you might want to try it to see if it work for you.
   good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
A big Thank You to all who answered my question.. He had been put on Augmentin 875mg 2x/day for abt 3 wks., then our family doctor changed it to Bioxin, nothing was working.. He finally listened to me and we went to see his pulmonologist, and he gave him an injection of some steroid, and sent him over to the hospital where they gave him 2 different antibiotics via IV injection over a period of about 2 hrs.  He FINALLY is nearly over it, in fact he saw the pulmo. today for a follow up, and he said he was doing GREAT!!  You can't immagine how good that makes a COPD patient feel.. He is now out of his down mood and feeling as good as someone with his problems can..
Thanks again to all, and Kien, I think I might just try the garlic capsules.. IF he will take them..
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