Severe lung inflammation. 71 year old male
About a year ago my father started with an unproductive cough. He saw his primary care dr multiple times with no explanation. In June, he left Alabama and went west for vacation. He was in Yellowstone Park and began having severe shortness of breath. His wife took him to the ER later in the day. His O2 sat was at 40% when he got to the ER. He was flown to a larger hospital in Montana at that time. He was awake and alert when he got to the hospital. He was started on several meds but continued to deteriorate. He was intubated and in a drug induced coma for 2 weeks. All tests kept coming back negative or normal. No pneumonia, no CHF, but severely inflamed lungs. He progressed a little and was eventually transferred to a long-term care hospital. Last night he was transferred back to the original hospital for a pulmonary embolism.
The doctors cant figure out what is causing this. The nurse actually told me the drs were baffled. Has anyone else had any similar experiences?
Also, does anyone know how difficult it would be to get him transferred to MC? I just really feel like he needs to be somewhere that sees more.
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Hello @leslieshipp, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I’m sorry to hear of your fathers troubles. It sounds like he has had a rough go at it with his health. I can certainly understand your concern.
On Mayo Clinic Connect we are dedicated to sharing our Health care journey, sharing medical experiences and keeping the community safe. However we are not medical professionals and can not medically advise members.
Without diagnosis it’s hard to connect you with other people who are here discussing similar matters. However, here is some information I was able to find on transferring care to Mayo Clinic if this happens to be the route you take with your fathers health care. http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/clinical-updates/trauma/atc-ecc-expedite-transfers-support-referring-providers
Also, here is some information I found on Mayo Clinic.org that talks about pulmonary embolism- http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pulmonary-embolism/home/ovc-20234736. I hope this is of help to you.
Was your Father experiencing fever, rash, night sweats or joint swelling?
Thanks so much. There was no rash, fever, or anything else. Just the SOB and cough. He was in a much higher altitude when it got worse. He also has a history of AFib and used the medicine amioderone for control. He’s been in ICU over a month and we have no diagnosis and the nurse told me this morning it is a very bizarre case. At this point we are looking for any possibilities.
I am Linda a mentor with lung cancer at Mayo Cancer connect. I live in Montana, and I do understand the difficulties of lack of breathe at high altitude. Yellowstone National Park is a high altitude. It is very easy to become dehydrated at this high altitude and thus possibly cause a-fib.
I also sympathize with the frustration of perhaps, “unskilled” medical teams in a state where there is literally no “research facility”. I am a nine year lung cancer survivor…because of Mayo Clinic. All of my follow up has been with Mayo Clinic and I might add, medical bills at Mayo Clinic are a ‘great value’; both health wise and financially. My personal experience was that ‘private practice’ cost of everything from an appointment to blood work to scans is crazy expensive! Plus, at Mayo Clinic you receive many opinions that I feel is why I have had a life saving experience!
For two years I had a horrible choking cough and upper left shoulder/back pain. My local doctors were also baffled. They thought because I was so physically active and I looked good there was possibility my cough was due to a busy working schedule or possibly psychological. Local medical facilities found nothing. This went on for two years.
Mayo Clinic immediately ‘properly’ diagnosed and ‘properly’ treated me.I never smoked but yet, I had non small cell lung cancer. Most of my left lung was removed by Dr Stephen Cassivi, my thorasic surgeon at Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN. I highly recommend this amazing team.
I will be following you, I am so happy that you have found Cancer Connect where there is an amazing support network. Feel free to ask me any questions.