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Repeat Lung Function Test

(8 Posts)
insanityscratching Sun 21-Dec-14 21:31:31

Ds 27 was admitted to hospital about six weeks ago with a really tight chest.His output was such that ambulance had adrenalin on standby. This had followed two courses of antibiotics for suspected chest infections. He was discharged after two days after nebulisers and steroids and given inhalers and more steroids and diagnosed with severe asthma.
On release he had another course of antibiotics, his inhalers increased and then changed and was referred to hospital for lung function tests. He had these on Tuesday last week and then on Friday he received a letter with an appointment for these to be repeated in the new year. Next week he is to be seen in respiratory clinic.
Ds has always been incredibly fit and well. Prior to the chest trouble other than for routine immunisations he'd seen the GP three times in the last twenty plus years.
Ds thought that he had done well on the lung function test and there was no mention at the time of the need for them to be repeated. He's had three lots of chest xrays that have been passed round consultants and declared clear although all seemed to expect to have had something show hence the repeats and the passing round.He's had blood tests and the only comment was that his white blood count was sky high.
Ds doesn't look well, he is incredibly tired all the time and I'm feeling more and more concerned for him.
Why would the lung function tests need repeating and why wasn't anything said in clinic at the time? Any words of wisdom or reassurance would be much appreciated.

Annietheacrobat Mon 22-Dec-14 08:53:57

I wouldn't read too much into this. LFTs are a standard test and most respiratory patients will have them checked as a matter of routine on the day of their clinic visit.

It could be that when he had them last time they did not perform one particular test, or they could simply want to see that his condition continues to improve.

Annietheacrobat Mon 22-Dec-14 08:55:52

Steroids can cause a really high white blood count too.

insanityscratching Mon 22-Dec-14 11:12:31

The blood counts were before steroids tbh when he was being treated as though he had chest infections. Glad the repeat LFTs shouldn't be a cause for concern I think had they said in clinic at the time that they needed repeating then it wouldn't have worried me so much.

Sidge Mon 22-Dec-14 11:32:51

Often they like to repeat spirometry 6 weeks after a course of steroids, as when you're on steroids you don't get a "true" lung function result - it's enhanced by the steroid effect.

It could be that the lung function tests he did after his first appointment were within 6 weeks of his steroids post-discharge.

MrsCakesPrecognition Mon 22-Dec-14 11:39:35

I had double pneumonia and pleurisy which damaged my lungs. Over the next 2/3 years I had many repeated LFTs. They were tracking my improvement and the tests stopped once they established that the improvements had bottomed out and my condition was stable. I went from around 60% to 30% loss of function in that time.
I'd imagine they want an "after" snapshot once he is well over his initial problems.

IkaBaar Tue 23-Dec-14 04:11:12

I agree with the others lung function tests are standard every time you go to the respiratory clinic at the hospital. They will be checking he is going in the right direction, so don't worry about that.

From my experience a hospital admission with asthma knocks you for six. It's the being very ill, the sleep deprivation and the steroids can make your muscles weak as well. Also there is an emotional side to it, once you start to get better, you realise how ill you've been.! Is he trying to gently increase the amount he is doing?

It sounds very hasty to label him with 'severe asthma', maybe a severe asthma exacerbation? It is good he 'only' needed two days in hospital. Hopefully he will be able to be well controlled on preventer inhalers etc.

Have you looked at the Asthma UK website? They also have an advice line staffed by asthma nurses. Might be worth looking into before his clinic appointment, so he can go armed with questions?

insanityscratching Tue 23-Dec-14 13:30:15

Now I'm really panicking another letter from hospital today, ds won't be home until later to open it though and it's not the standard appointment letter we get through here.It's stamped first class for a start rather than franked. I don't understand why he wasn't told about these follow ups in the clinic last week because as far as he was concerned the respiratory clinic next week was the end of the follow ups after his admission and GP was taking over his care.

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