Coughing to point of hospital admission

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Coughing to point of hospital admission

Postby stephmark3 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:20 am

My dad is 77 years old and is in the late stages of PSP. His mind is 100% perfect! BUT...he has had a feeding tube for a year because of pneumonia from choking too often. He is incontinent. In order to have a BM, and enema is administered once per week. He cannot walk any longer. His hands are frozen like claws. He can no longer speak. He is nebulized a few times per day. He is suctioned a few times per day. He has round the clock care. He had to have hernia surgery this year due to getting a hernia from so much coughing. We think he has every single PSP issue that there is. He is the nicest person in the entire world!!! PSP is devastating.

3 days ago he started coughing non stop. He felt like he had something (phlegm) stuck in his throat. He has a feeding tube so he does not get any food or liquids. The dr. sent a mobile Xray machine (he is difficult to transport due to rigidity of the body) and it showed that his lungs were completely clear. Fast forward 3 days and he asked to go to the hospital. He hasn't slept in 3 days. At the hospital, they did more X-rays, blood tests, etc. They see nothing. His throat is raw and white. They have him on antibiotics for the throat. But, he is very uncomfortable because he still feels like something is stuck. When he coughs, they can hear a slight rattle, but nothing that would cause that sensation. He is coughing non stop.

Does ANYONE have any ideas/suggestions?

Thank you,
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Re: Coughing to point of hospital admission

Postby myownwoman » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:33 am

Welcome to the forum. I don't know if anyone of us can really help since you seem to have had every test done that we might recommend. I have only one thought: is his throat dried out? We swabbed Phil's mouth with Biotene - something to help keep the mouth tissues hydrated. It also helped with his throat. When A direct feeding tube is used dryness might become a problem.
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Re: Coughing to point of hospital admission

Postby Robin » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:14 pm


Sorry to hear about this.

My dad had a chronic cough too but never this bad. We treated it with a humidifier, raising the head of the bed, and Delsym cough syrup. (He also thought he had something stuck in his throat. He thought he had tonsilitis but we pointed out that he had his tonsils out as a child.)

This doesn't sound like PSP to me, but I'm a layperson...

You might do an online search for "chronic cough." Things that come up include asthma, fragrance allergy, mold, GERD, etc.

I just got a tweet about a NEJM article about chronic cough. Don't know if that's helpful. See:

Good luck,
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Re: Coughing to point of hospital admission

Postby Brutus22 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:53 am

Hi everyone,
I have kind of the same problem with Mick except his isn't really a cough. It is more like a deep growl which is very loud and you can hear the mucus, but he cannot spit so I think it just goes back down. When I ask him if something is stuck in his throat he says no and he does not know why he makes the sounds. I have been giving him Mucinex and that does seem to help a little but I guess I will have to check with the doc to see how long I can give that to him. This is keeping us both up at night but I think I am getting used to no sleep.
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Re: Coughing to point of hospital admission

Postby zeldadarln » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:31 pm


My FIL was given Albuterol by Inhalation. The tx lasts about 15 minutes. At least once per day, dependent on the severity of the phlegm. This worked by loosening up the phlegm and letting him spit it out. When he could no longer spit it pout, we would place tissue by his mouth and begin to extract it for him. Many times, it would just be an endless thread of phlegm and many boxes of tissue used.

Remember, many medications can be given for other than intended use.
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Re: Coughing to point of hospital admission

Postby daranch » Mon May 08, 2017 10:53 pm

I use Toothette Oral Moisturizer spray to deal with my husbands dry cough. I also insisted on getting a cough assist device. It took some time but has been wonderful and he hasn't been hospitalized for the last year for that chronic cough. Medicare paid for it. At least twice daily I nebulize him with saline and a drop of peppermint essential oil (Albuterol if he is sick). This moisturizers, relaxes and opens the bronchials. Sometimes it relaxes him enough to put him to sleep. Then I do the cough assist followed by suction. Then the Toothette spray which I get on Amazon. He is in advanced stage of PSP but not final stage yet. He gets upper respiratory infections but hasn't had a bout with pneumonia yet. We have home health which is wonderful support and it took home health to get orders for the cough assist. Not many hospitals even have them or doctors are familiar with them. It has made him so much more comfortable and I believe has helped stave off a lung infection. It functions by forcing air into the lungs and then pulling the air out. His exhalation is just too weak to cough anything up but he makes a loud growling noise. Basically tries to use his vocal cords to cough.
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