Sputum samples for bronchial infection 
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 Sputum samples for bronchial infection


>When I and others have come down with a bronchial infection this
>fall, the doctors did not take a sputum sample. Instead they start
>with a course of cephalexin. When symptoms persist they then go to a
>course of clarithromycin.

>Now if a sputum sample were taken, a sensitivity could have speeded
>the switch when the results came in. Also, I would think that
>statistics would then show what the bugs really were.

>I assume that the reason is economic, and I can understand trying to
>get the most bang for the buck. It is more expensive than a chest
>x-ray (which I got)? Or is it just that the first antibiotic
>generally does the job.

>Also, if the first antibiotic is ineffective, would a sputum sample
>then be in order. I can see that the antibiotic presence might make
>growth difficult; however the infection would not then be getting
>worse if the problem strain were not resistant IMHO.

>Comments please?

For typical bronchitis, it's often better to treat without sputum
cultures because they are often unreliable.  We usually can guess the
likely organisms from knowing your age, smoking history, and potential
exposures.  The selection of {*filter*} they gave you were reasonable, but
ironically,  fairly expensive choices.  The trouble is that there are
few antibiotics that cover all potential pathogens at once.  Repeating
a sputum culture while on antibiotics is also unlikely to be of help,
but radiographic studies sometimes can suggest why you're not
responding to treatment.  I would have gotten a sinus Xray, in
addition.  H2

Tue, 11 May 1999 03:00:00 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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