Respiratory infections – ER

published on: 25th august, 2021

Do you have a respiratory infection?

Are you having a sore throat, sneezing, wheezing, coughing?

It's that time of year when viruses and bacteria will infect your respiratory system and cause a variety of problems. It's time to think about seeing a doctor if you're experiencing these symptoms along with a fever.

What causes of respiratory infections?

Respiratory infections spread rapidly from one person to the next. When you cough or sneeze while suffering from an infection, such as a cold, minute droplets of fluid containing the virus are released into the air. These droplets will then spread infection to those in the vicinity. The elbow cough or sneeze is a safe way to keep these droplets from spreading.

Indirect contact, such as touching a surface or object that has been contacted by someone who has been infected with a virus, can also spread respiratory tract infections. Clean your hands regularly with soap and warm water to prevent contaminating yourself or others.

What kind of respiratory infection are you experiencing?

Common upper respiratory tract infection is viral infections which cause cough, throat pain, runny nose and fever.

The lower respiratory infection could be viruses, bacteria and fungi. The lower respiratory infection could be more severe than URTI and patient would have more severe symptoms.

How to treat a respiratory infection?

The majority of mild upper respiratory infections can be treated successfully at home. Symptoms of upper respiratory infections are treated with over-the-counter treatments and pain relievers.

Antibiotics are ineffective for upper respiratory infections unless the infection is caused by bacteria. You can also drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

Popular antibiotics, including those used to treat upper respiratory infections, are generally ineffective in treating lower respiratory infections. If your symptoms don't go away or get worse, you should go to the nearest emergency department to help you figure out if your respiratory illness is severe, like pneumonia, or if it's a chronic illness like asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

What happens during your visit to ER?

At the ER, you will be requested to do below tests in order to diagnose your condition:

  • Chest X-ray for possible pneumonia
  • Skin oxygen level monitoring (finger clip-on; painless)
  • Lab tests of throat swab, nose swab or spectrum test
  • Blood test

Our ER doctors might prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers or decongestants depending on the severity of your symptoms. If your symptoms are serious, you may need nebulizer therapy, a breathing machine, antibiotics injections, an IV for dehydration, or even a hospital stay to get you back on your feet.

Burjeel’s Emergency department is open 24/7 and does not need an appointment. The quicker you seek treatment, the faster you will possibly recover.

* The information on this website is not meant to be used to diagnose health conditions or to replace legitimate medical advice.

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