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bronchitis following chlorine vapor inhalation
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bronchitis following chlorine vapor inhalation

About 3 weeks ago, I ended up in the ER after inhaling a large amount of chlorine vapors.  I thought I was getting better, but now my bronchitis and shortness of breath have returned.  Is this normal after chemical inhalation?  How long should it take to recover from something like this?  It took 2 breathing treatments and 3 hours on O2 to keep my O2 level up enough to leave the hospital that day.  I also took prednisone for about a week.  My sputum is not green, it is a yellow and brown color.  I do smoke and have had bronchitis in the past, but it has been a long time since I have been sick like this.  Any advice or at home remedies that might help?  Self-employed and no insurance, I will see Dr. if needed, but SO expensive!!!!  Thanks for any help or advice.
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I know it is expensive, but you should see a lung specialist as soon as possible.  It is very likely that your lungs have been seriously damaged by this chlorine inhalation.  If untreated, scarring with permanent damage may occur.
5 Comments
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My question was specific to chlorine inhalation.  Is your answer some kind of advertisement....are you a physician or nurse?
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Hi lindy2whitley,
I had a Chlorine gas exposure while working at a large swimming pool, in 1997. It was awful. After the exposure, I went on to school, where after about 20 minutes into class, I began coughing and coughing. Uncontrollable. It got worse and worse. Finally an instructor said I was turning blue around my lips. They tried to get me to go to ER. I refused (I'm not real bright:). They did call poison control when I told them what had happened at the pool. Long story short... I can't tell you what will happen to you. But, I can tell you what happened to me. I was a smoker, too. After that initial exposure, it took MONTHS for me to recover and be able to breathe without a wheeze. My lungs were trashed. I was forced to lay off the cigs.  After 2-3 months, I was diagnosed as having COPD- Chronic Bronchitis to be exact. The breathing treatments began. I was very careful during the time I was wheezing and felt so bad, but as soon as I got better, I resumed smoking and all the while continued working at the pool around Chlorine and Hydrocloric Acid. I shortly began to have a cough that continues to this day. In 2003, I was dx'd with emphysema at the ripe old age of 43. Perhaps if at that time I never had picked up another cigarette....
My advice...take care of your lungs. Stop smoking immediately.  Let your poor assaulted lungs heal. Baby them. That means avoid any irritants such as smoke, cleaning products, cold air, chemicals of any kind. Please do go to the doctor if you possibly can. Even when you feel better, continue to take care of those lungs. I did quit smoking in 2003 when I was told I would possibly live 10 years. That was not enough time for me. Since quitting smoking, I do feel better, but the damage is done for life. Just had a not so good Pulmonary Function Test. Perhaps you have a chance to do better for yourself. Please know, I am not preaching about quitting smoking to give you a hard time. Just in hopes to save you the things I've gone through since my exposure in 1997. You should see my doctors bills....Please don't smoke anymore. I pray your recovery will be quick and complete.
Best Regards,
DinkyB
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the info.  I am 37 and stopped smoking once before, gained about 80lbs and had gastric bypass.  Now I am an exerciseaholic who smokes.  I am thinking of going to the ER again today, cant walk across room w/out being out of breath.  I was an aquatics director for years and now self employed, still in aqua field, but i did buy one of those great mask with chlorine vapor cartridges (great help) duh....should have already had one.  I just cant take this not being able to exercise, if i stay in this bed much longer i am going to turn into a slug....I know I need to quit smoking, i am really thinking of giving it a try again.   thanks for the post......
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had similar, but very low grade reactions* to chlorine after using some YMCA or other spas.  I've meant to write the director or physical plant manager at these facilities to suggest better ventilation.

Some of you have had lots of experience around chlorine, so here's my question for you:  are the fumes from hot tubs/spas harmful? (especially when the rooms containing the spas are not well ventilated?

(*pseudo bronchitis symptoms seem to last 3 - 5 days)
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