Hello, I went to the hospital today for shortness of breath


Q: Hello,
I went to the hospital today for shortness of breath/chest pain/some wheezing. My 02 levels/bp were good, no blood clots, etc. Sent me home with the diagnosis chest pains/possible pleurisy. No at home instructions other than to take Advil for inflammation as needed. I am still having that "shortness of breath" feeling, was wandering if it would be okay to use my boyfriends albuterol inhaler and if that would at all have any effect on relieving the discomforts I am going to die to the possible pleurisy. Thanks


A:   Hello,
Thank you for your medical query at AskTheDoctor.com
I understand your concern.
Pleurisy is a diagnosis that can only be made on physical examination. It is considered an emergency and the cause needs to be ascertained quickly.

Almost always it is due to infections such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. So treating the primary cause is very important. You can definitely use the albuterol, but I would request you to meet a proper pulmonologist who can do the necessary investigations and find out the primary cause.
The other at home suggestions will be complete bed rest, Advil sos and take albuterol or even oral salbutamol 4 mg twice daily till the shortness of breath resolves.

Hope this was helpful,
Feel free to discuss further,

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Hi Dr.
Thanks for the response. Unfortunately I didn't feel I got much full/accurate information at the ER as far as a "set in stone" diagnosis. I am still confused if I do in fact have pleurisy or if it was written off as some sort of chest inflammation effecting the way my breathing feels as they sent me home with an information sheet on both but didn't for sure say "yes, you have fluid around your lungs." They did do numerous bp/02 checks while there - all of which was normal my whole duration, blood tests (for what I don't know), a chest x ray, EKG, and ct scan to rule out blood clots and said all tests came back fine. I was given some medicine for inflammation in my IV while there but that was it. The Only "get well at home" recommendations was rest and to take Advil as needed for inflammation/pain. No medications, inhalers to help comfort breathing, etc.
So here I am, still feeling short of breath, and puzzled what to do about it or if I'm just suppose to "deal with it". I am going to have the written report faxed to my primary care doctor and make an appointment with him so he can overlook it give me some more insight on what is going on/treatments.
Also, on the chest x ray they found a spot on or in my lung. Nodule I believe they called it. Although they said any spot/mass found is concerning that I should just wait and get another x ray in 6 months to see if it's grown or not and to access treatment than if it has? Is that correct? Seems a little weird to wait and see if something is a potential problem instead of nipping it in the butt before it becomes one...
Looking forward to your responses
Doctor: I am not very convinced with the kind of treatment you have received till now.
The lung nodule should be followed up with a pulmonologist. It could be a calcific healed nodule from previous infection or could be related to your current symptoms.

I will request you to follow this up with a pulmonologist. You can take salbutamol sos for the breathing problem.


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