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Would DH benefit from having oxygen at home?

(16 Posts)
Norton Sun 11-Oct-09 22:07:36

He has bronchiectasis & gets fairly regular chest infections

As his lungs are damaged his heart has to work harder to get the blood round his body & it is under stress

I wondered if oxygen would help - I can ask his consultant in December when we go - but I wondered if anyone knew?

moaningminniewhingesagain Sun 11-Oct-09 23:23:07

You could certainly ask for an assessment to see if he would benefit.

It will depend, partly at least, on how much oxygen his 'sats' are reading. Many people with chronic lung disease are used to a fairly low oxygen level and it isn't always useful - v complicated to explain as I'm a wee bit rustyblush Sometimes increasing the oxygen they breath in can actually cause problems as it reduces the body's percieved need to breath(if you can understand what I mean!)Do you have a respiratory nurse specialist/outreach you can speak to?

Montifer Sun 11-Oct-09 23:34:25

His oxygen levels could be assessed using a finger probe to look at his oxygen saturation or from a blood sample to look at the amount of oxygen and also the carbon dioxide (waste gas).
If levels were shown to be low, they could decide what to prescribe.

If DH gets breathless on exertion (stairs, coughing etc) short bursts of oxygen treatment might help him to get his breath back more quickly. This is usually given using an oxygen mask using a small, portable cylinder.

The Dr / nurse or physiotherapist in clinic should be able to arrange the assessments if appropriate.

Hope that makes sense.

Norton Mon 12-Oct-09 03:23:30

I will ask then as it's not a completely stupid idea

When he has a chest infection he can barely move, he is so tired and breathless, even sitting up is hard

I'm not too worried when he doesn't have an infection - his exercise levels are good & he has some energy and can play short tennis with his pensioners or do a short dance class

It is just when he has an infection everything stops

Montifer Mon 12-Oct-09 07:38:55

Does he grow specific bugs?
If so, are they managed with long term oral or nebulised antibiotics?

Oxygen could help for relief of breathlessness when he has an acute infection, it can be prescribed just for these times.

Norton Mon 12-Oct-09 07:55:21

Heamophilus Influenzea (sp)

He has been on doxycycline & trimethoprim but they caused tummy problems so they stopped then

He has quite a cocktail of asthma medication - singulair, Quvar, beclametasome, Salmeterol Xinafoate & salbutmol

juggling Mon 12-Oct-09 10:31:35

You could ask, but generally oxygen is prescribed for low oxygen saturations at rest checked via an arterial blood gas sample. They can not prescribe oxygen based on a sat probe or Capillary blood gas as these are inaccurate. If your husbands oxygen is below 88% (BTS guidelines), supplementary oxygen is required.

As previously mentioned, if your husband experiences breathlessness on exertion, dependant on what he desaturates to and how long it takes to recover, he may benefit from short burst oxygen which can be delivered by face mask or nasal cannulae.

From what you have mentioned and his activity levels prior and after infection, he may benefit from nebuliser therapy when he has an infection. Nebulisers enable a higher dose of atrovent(salbutamol) and iprotropium bromide which helps to open the airways and reduce inflammation, enabling effective breathing.

With chest infection it is expected to be breathless with his condition as the infection interferes with the gas exchange at the alveoli, but with antibiotics and nebulised therapy this should help with the breathlessness.

Your best bet, is to ask the consultant for a oxygen assessment. Your husband may benefit from being seen by a community matron who helps people with long term conditions and can instigate oxygen when they feel it necessary, It also gives you an extra contact point when you are concerned with anything. Your Gp can refer you.

Also, before I go, does your husband use a spacer for his spray inhalers? These enable a more accurate dose being inhaled and ensure the breathing technique is correct for an accurate dose and benefit.

Hope this helps

Phoenix4725 Mon 12-Oct-09 18:43:02

we to looked at thisroute as dd has bronchiectasis aswell as a1ad but even though her levels are lower tha whats normal she runs around 90 ish .her body has learnt to manage on it and was advised that to much oxygen would now cause more issus than trhe low side

MadHairDay Mon 12-Oct-09 19:00:42

I have bronchiectasis. I don't yet have home oxygen as my sats are usually OK (92-96ish), as has been said by pp it's like I've learned to manage with what my body does. I also get regular chest infections, I manage them upping my abs, more nebs and sometimes a course of IVs in hospital, but like your dh they put me completely out of action which is frustrating to say the least. However it does sound like your dh is doing well between infections, so I'm not sure they'd prescribe oxygen - I have friends with bronch who have it but they have constant low sats. Worth getting a review from your dh's consultant - you never know, always good to look into these things.
Good luck - bronch can be the pits, and sometimes I think it must be almost worse for your partner/family.

Phoenix4725 Mon 12-Oct-09 19:14:20

is dh on regular antibiotics ?.Dd ses regular nebs were trying prevent as much damage as we can but sadly already has some shes only 6

We travel to the brompton in Loondon where have found best help and advice they deal with dc and adults

MadHairDay Mon 12-Oct-09 20:43:13

You've caught it early though Phoenix, so you'll be able to limit the damage a lot. Many, including me, were mis dx for years, I was only dx 5 yrs ago but had it since a baby, so much more damage was done - if you're at the Brompton she'll be getting the best treatment to so you're on a good thing
Must be horrible having dcs with it - if you ever need people to talk to visit www.bronchiectasis.info - it's a lovely community, there are a few parents and partners of bronchi people there, makes you feel less on your own.

Phoenix4725 Mon 12-Oct-09 20:49:35

madhair sadly lot of damage already done as sh also has comprimised immune sysytem as well as are kind of emphysema that is inherited .was al only found thanks to ds paed who was concerned wy i had dd who spent long timein hospital

But yep the brompton have been great and do post on there has helped on bad bad nights to keep me sane though lol not sure what qualifes for sane in my house

MadHairDay Mon 12-Oct-09 20:57:39

Know the feeling!
Sorry so much damage is already done, just glad the paed looked into it for you, can be so easily missed.
<<wonders who you are on brus now>> grin

Norton Mon 12-Oct-09 20:59:02

I get quite confused as it is only recently that the Drs have started talking to me as well as DH

TBH I can't imagine life witha little one having it

DH is being treated at the Lung defence clinic in Papworth but his symptoms aren't typical

He has asthma but never rarely has an asthma attack
He has bronchiectasis but it is only apparent when he has a chest infection - he only coughs up phlegm when he has an infection
He is testing positive for mycobacterium avium but shows no symptoms

I think he confuses them

MadHairDay Mon 12-Oct-09 21:11:03

Thing is with bronchiectasis is it is such a varying condition, there are even three main types of it (cylindrical, cystic and....mmm something else, can't remember now) so the symptoms do vary wildly. My consultants always tell me I confuse them too - I don't follow a nice easy path for them. I think even a lot of cosultants aren't that familiar with the deep ins and outs of the disease - it';s often good to get to see a cystic fibrosis specialist as it is so similar.

If he doesn't cough gunk between infections that's a good thing - sounds like it's under control - does he do daily physio, and is he on prophylactic abs? All of this can help stave off infections.

Norton Mon 12-Oct-09 21:52:33

No he says the 'huffing' hurts

& they took him off the AB's as they were affecting his tummy

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