Secretary with chronic cough - page 2

Our secretary has had a chronic cough for months. I've talked to her about it and she's said she's been to the doctor but doesn't know what it is. She can't complete a sentence without... Read More

  1. by   nurseunderwater
    Is there any med that doesn't have coughing as a potential S/E???? LOL....sorry, I"ll crawl back into my cave now.
  2. by   Tweety
    Thanks. I didn't realize that about the BP meds. I've heard her mention Lasix, but not any BP meds, but she might be on those as well.

    Thanks for the advice. So you think it's o.k. to mention it to the manager, after I talk to her myself?
  3. by   MandyInMS
    Hope her tbst was negative :/ working in a hospital environment surely she was tested.
  4. by   tattooednursie
    I have had bronchitis for four months now. Been to the doc several times, but its always the same thing. I know how she feels. I feel like I'm goin to rupture something if I cough one more time.Actually I really don't have an answer for it, I was just wondering if maybe it was the same thing.
  5. by   cindimc
    one word...........sarcoidosis
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    cough that does not resolve is a common problem. some common causes of chronic cough include asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinus problems, and esophageal reflux of stomach contents. in rare occasions, chronic cough may be result of aspiration of foreign objects into the lungs (usually in children).

    asthma is a disease of airways, resulting in difficulty breathing or wheezing. some asthma sufferers have chronic cough as their symptom. asthma symptoms can be aggravated by cold air, exposure to air pollutants or pollen etc. for further reading, please read the asthma article.

    gastroesophageal reflux refers to reflux of stomach acid and other contents into the esophagus. if acid and stomach contents is aspirated into the airways, patients can experience shortness of breath and coughing. for further reading, please read the esophageal reflux article.

    sinus problems and postnasal drip can also cause chronic cough. this condition can be difficult to detect. sometimes ct scan of the sinuses are necessary for diagnosis. for further reading, please read the sinusitis article.

    finally, infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia can cause coughing. these infections can be caused by virus, bacteria or fungus. virus and fungus usually do not respond to antibiotics.

    certain medications, notably ace inhibitors (vasotec, capoten etc.) used in treating high blood pressure, can cause chronic cough.

    if chronic cough persists a patient should be evaluated by his or her doctor. it is important to exclude; asthma, postnasal drip, esophageal reflux, drug side effect, or other unusual infections.
    http://www.medicinenet.com/chronic_cough/article.htm

    professional article:
    chronic cough -- october 1, 1997 -- american family physician
    ... cough has a single cause, in up to ... evaluation in patients with chronic cough can minimize
    the ... irritant, cough-inducing medications, airway hyperresponsiveness ...
    www.aafp.org/afp/971001ap/cough.html - 37k
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on May 1, '04
  7. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy

    Thanks for the advice. So you think it's o.k. to mention it to the manager, after I talk to her myself?
    tweety, what are you going to say to her?
  8. by   Audreyfay
    I used to have problems with coughing due to allergies and asthma. If there was central air in the building, as soon as the ventilation came on, my throat would tighten up and I would cough and cough. I saw allergists and internal medicine MDs. Finally I saw a pulmonologist and was put on the right inhalers. It was much better. Then I moved. I even went off the inhalers.
    It sounds to me like she really needs to follow-up with her physician. Could be allergies or b/p medications, or CHF. Ask the Employee Health nurse to call her and speak with her a few minutes so she can hear. Or have her come to the department to speak with her. How about having your supervisor speak with her? That would be the best. Why should you have to take it on all by yourself? Doesn't the supervisor say anything? Hmm?
  9. by   nurseT
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Our secretary has had a chronic cough for months. I've talked to her about it and she's said she's been to the doctor but doesn't know what it is.

    She can't complete a sentence without coughing. I told her I'm going to start to wear a mask and bring a can of Lysol spray. But seriously, would it be appropriate to mention it to the manager or employee health.

    She's moridly obese and has chf, so it might be something related to that. Her health and weight are none of my business and she's a doll to work with, but I cringe when she answers the phone and hands it to me because she's coughed all over it.

    Should I trust she's o.k. and leave her alone?

    I used to work in a home health office. Our elderly secretary began a terrible cough and the other nurses and I became concerned. She said she went to the Dr. and he sent her to a pulmonologist. He ran all sorts of neat tests and found nothing. I asked her if she was taking BP meds. Yes, she said she was. It was an ACE inhibitor. I asked her to talk to her Dr. about the S/E. He changed her med to a different category and wala, no more cough. Some times you just need to revisit the basics.
  10. by   lisaloulou
    Tweety, if I were you, which I'm not....but if I were...
    I'd approach her again with my concerns as a friend. To me, going to someone else is kind of underhanded even if the reasoning is that you are worried about her. CHF can most certainly cause a cough,as can a host of other things. Be sensitive about it towards her- maybe she has no insurance or is not able to afford to be off work.
    Lastly, Id buy some baby wipes to clean off the phone.
  11. by   Tweety
    Quote from lisaloulou
    Tweety, if I were you, which I'm not....but if I were...
    I'd approach her again with my concerns as a friend. To me, going to someone else is kind of underhanded even if the reasoning is that you are worried about her. CHF can most certainly cause a cough,as can a host of other things. Be sensitive about it towards her- maybe she has no insurance or is not able to afford to be off work.
    Lastly, Id buy some baby wipes to clean off the phone.

    I hope I'm not sounding to defensive, especially since I was asking for input. But the reasoning is not only am I worried about her, but the rest of us. Since there's more than just her working there, is it an issue for management or employee health, and that wouldn't be underhanded IMO, since I've already talked to her. Just wondering. Thanks for your input.

    I talked to her again, she thinks it might be bronchitis, but hasn't been to a doctor about it. Denial is a wonderful thing isn't it?

    But only a couple of coworkers have been sick lately, and probably not related, so I'm probably being paranoid. But I think the wipes are a good idea.

    Maybe if I wore a mask, sprayed Lysol all around, and used wipes, she'd go to a doctor. Just kidding.
  12. by   nurseunderwater
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Maybe if I wore a mask, sprayed Lysol all around, and used wipes, she'd go to a doctor. Just kidding.
    Woot! :chuckle
  13. by   lisaloulou
    erase the word "underhanded" and insert.......ummmmmmm well I dunno but what i meant was going directly to the person instead of around her and it sounds like you already have. Hopefully she has her own phone No flame intended.

    I used to work with a guy who had shall we say a different standard of hygeine from my own. It was driving me nuts personally, and I kept hearing everyone else comment about it. I was determined to take the bull by the tail and face the problem (hehehehe) so I just asked him about it point blank. Turned out he was living in a travel trailer parked on land with no well. After that, he at least sponged daily. I did it as a friend-sort of like hey you have spinach on your teeth. It was either talk to him or let everyone call him "stinky" sheesh.....makes ya wonder what he was thinkin.

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