Secretary with chronic cough

  1. 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?
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   dianah
    Is it related to medication she takes?? Related to the CHF?? Or is it from something that is contagious? Should she get clearance from her MD that she is NOT harboring and inadvertently sharing something that is contagious, and then try to find the cause/cure? I'm sure she's tired of it too; what does she say about it?
  4. by   leslie :-D
    do you think it would be contagious if its been persisting for several months?
  5. by   Tweety
    She says she doesn't know. Apparently she has been to the doctor, but it was inconclusive. Perhaps it's allergies.

    Do CHF meds cause a cough?

    Thanks.
  6. by   leslie :-D
    i'm not sure at this moment but it sounds familiar. i know that chf can cause cough however. i'm wondering how well controlled it is (the chf). and of course her added weight is not helping at all. does she actually cough into the phone?
  7. by   TEXASWAG
    You got me thinking. A friend of mine had a chronic cough....turned out he had pneumonia. My mom developed a cough after taking an ACE Inhibitor.
    It's sad that she can't complete a sentence without coughing. Maybe it will clear up.
  8. by   Tweety
    Quote from earle58
    i'm not sure at this moment but it sounds familiar. i know that chf can cause cough however. i'm wondering how well controlled it is (the chf). and of course her added weight is not helping at all. does she actually cough into the phone?

    Yes, because talking stimulates the cough. It's getting to the point where I insist she transfer the calls to another phone.
  9. by   leslie :-D
    well, me thinks it could be pursued as a concerned employee; by all means, approach employee health stating your concerns re: HER health-that you've noticed this morbidly obese, sob woman with chronic/persistent cough, known to have chf and that you're concerned about her health. if employee health thinks it to be a facility risk, they'll pick up on the implications immediately. honestly, it sounds like this lady does indeed need help.
  10. by   NRSKarenRN
    I forget which CHF med can cause persistent cough, but have seen it happen.

    Tell her to ask her pharmacist to review meds to see if persistent cough a side effect then discuss with her PCP.

    Inform unit manager of your concern. Report as concerned staff member to employee health also warrented if unit manager doesn't act.
  11. by   glopop11
    My mom had a cough like that for a year. Everytime she started talking she coughed. It was due to blood pressure meds. Took a year and four different meds to find one without cough or other side effects.
  12. by   leslie :-D
    good point about bp meds....beta blockers can cause cough....specifically lopressor.
  13. by   traumaRUs
    ACE inhibitors can cause coughing!
  14. by   writer2nurse+
    acid reflux/GERD can cause a chronic cough

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