• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Chest X-Ray

nita

Registered User
Dec 30, 2011
2,431
0
Essex
Mum has had a chesty cough for over 2 weeks now and is on her third course of a higher dose of amoxicillin. The GP wants her to have a chest X-ray - what are they looking for with this? I am not sure how bad she is - could she have bronchitis or pneumonia? She is still eating, is conscious and talking but having difficulty bringing up any phlegm. She seems to have forgotten how to do this unless I encourage her.

Has anyone got any advice/experience?
 

zigandzag

Registered User
Mar 24, 2012
272
0
Birmingham
Hi Nita - I am sorry that your mom is poorly.

My mom is in hospital at the moment and I noticed that she had a very bad cough too - she has had an x ray and has been diagnosed with Aspiration Pneumonia - this is where bits of her food are going into her lungs as opposed to her tummy - so I would assume this is what they are looking for for your poor mom.

From what I understand the above can be treated with antibiotics in some cases and people can recover.

You may want to mention the SALT team to your GP too - although it sounds like he is on the case already - the SALT team will check your moms swallowing capabilities.

I'm so sorry - I do hope that they can assist your mom - unfortunately my mom is now in the final stages and nothing more can be done.

Keep us informed of her progress and take care.
 

nita

Registered User
Dec 30, 2011
2,431
0
Essex
Thank you for taking the time to reply, zigandzag. I have seen your posts and I'm so sorry your Mum is very ill. My Mum appears to be swallowing all right, food not going down the wrong way. She is in the mid-late stages - sleeps practically all the time most days, yet is still coherent in a way. You can have a short conversation with her about what's going on and she can still follow instructions, thankfully.

The cough sounds so rattly and "pheglmy" on her chest but she seems to be able to breathe all right.

It must be very hard for you at the moment, will be thinking of you.
 

Nebiroth

Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
3,510
0
An X-ray is a standard procedure for someone with a persistent cough that does not respond to antibiotics.

This said, the majority of coughs are due to viral, not bacterial, infections, therefore antibiotics will have no effect because antibiotics do not kill viruses. However, they are sometimes prescribed in someone elderly because the cause may be bacterial and also to prevent secondary infections, which often are bacterial, from gaining a foothold.

The x-ray may reveal the tell-tale signs of a pneumonia type infection (such as fluid buildup) and also eliminate other possible causes of a cough.

A couple of years ago my mum had a persistent cough that went on for weeks and breathlessness (if you have seen the referral note the doctor has made and it says BAR, this means, Breathlessness At Rest). He ordered an x-ray as routine. This revealed nothing sinister, the only thing that showed were the scars that wer eleft from mum's childhood pleurisy.

A remote possibility is whooping cough, although this usually has the characteristic more severe coughing sessions. As immunity is not life-long, even people who have been vaccinated or had the diease as a child can catch it again. In adults it is usually less severe - in children it causes paroxysmal coughing, often with vomitting. Antibiotics can kill the infection but have little effect on the duration of symptoms, which can go on for months.

As an aside, it's important for any elligibile ot have their pneumonia vaccination. It should be offered as routine to anyone over 60, often with the flu jab. You only need one as it is life-long. It does not grant 100% immunity and is only effective against certain types of pneumonias, but still worth it. Persons with health issues such as asthma may be offered it at any age (I had mine when I was 40)
 
Last edited:

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
67,241
0
71
Dundee
My husband has had a chest infection since September 16th. He was sent for x-rays on two occasions. They were wanting to check in more depth following what the doctor diagnosed in the surgery. It turned into bronchial pneuomonia. I think this may not have been picked up in the last x-ray prior to him going into hospital as he won't stand still for x-ray.
 

nita

Registered User
Dec 30, 2011
2,431
0
Essex
Thank you for your replies, Nebiroth and Izzy. I haven't been able to get Mum to the hospital to have the X-ray yet - she was extremely reluctant to let the carers wash and dress her on Thursday and Friday. I am not sure if she is too ill to go and have it done. I will try and persuade her on Monday and hope the carers will get her ready.

It is a fine line, acting in the person's best interests and the carers seem to err on the side of leaving the person if they offer any resistance. Has anyone else had this problem? They don't really use powers of persuasion and reassurance but just take her at her word if she says "no". It's not as if she's adamant, just tired a lot of the time. I have had problems with them when I try to intervene; initially they said they couldn't go by what I said, they had to refer to Mum (even if she doesn't know what is best for her). I know this is a vexed question, a "human rights" issue but......

I think, as Nebiroth says, it may be a viral infection and therefore not treatable by antibiotics, hence they aren't working. She isn't having trouble breathing which is a good sign but is a bit more confused and lethargic than usual.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
0
If the carers aren't persuading her when she needs to go to hospital, then I'd take over and I'd try to persuade her though with mum this is easier said than done. Sometimes I have to sit back and wait until she feels poorly enough to want to go into hospital.

You can't force them against their wishes even if you know it is the best thing for them sadly.

As for the Xray, they are looking for the causes, it could be anything, sometimes with mum it is fluid on the lungs which is treated with diuretics sometimes intravenously.

Could be anything at all but obviously the most important thing is when they find out what it is, they can treat it.
 

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
125,561
Messages
1,839,308
Members
76,501
Latest member
Jane Ellen