WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Legionnaire's disease (LD) is a condition where germs called Legionella cause damage to your lungs. The Legionella germs can be found in many different water sources. LD is caused by breathing in steam or water droplets that have these germs. Germs can also enter your lungs when you choke on food or liquids mixed with infected water. With LD you may have a fever, dry cough, trouble breathing, headaches, and body pain. You may have a decreased appetite, stomach pain, vomiting (throwing up), and loose watery stools. You may also have problems thinking and remembering things, and feel like you have no energy.
- Your caregiver will ask what symptoms you have and how bad they are. He may ask if you have visited any places or different countries recently. You may need to have your blood, urine, and sputum tested for germs. You may need a bronchoscopy to test the fluid from your lungs for LD germs. Your will need antibiotic medicine to kill the Legionella germs. Early treatment of LD can decrease or prevent any damage to other organs in your body. With treatment you may fully recover.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- Medicines may cause an allergic response. Medicines may cause you to have loose watery stools or throw up. Your body may hold on to fluid causing your feet and legs to swell. Some medicines may cause hearing problems. Medicines put through your vein, may cause your vein to swell and become red and painful. Your liver may also swell and become painful after taking medicines for a long period of time.
- If you do not get treatment for LD, your lung problems may worsen. Your Lungs may fill up with fluid and make it hard for you to breathe. The germs may cause damage to other organs such as your heart and kidneys. If LD is left untreated, you may die. Ask your caregiver if you have any questions about your condition, treatment, or care.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
This is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.
An IV (intravenous)
is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your current health.
- Blood tests: You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.
- Bronchoscopy: This is a procedure to look inside your airway and learn the cause of your airway or lung condition. A bronchoscope (thin tube with a light) is inserted into your mouth and moved down your throat to your airway. You may be given medicine to numb your throat and help you relax during the procedure. Tissue and fluid may be collected from your airway or lungs to be tested.
- Sputum sample: Sputum (mucus from your lungs) is collected in a cup when you cough. The sample is sent to a lab to be tested for the germ that is causing your illness. It can also help your caregiver choose the best medicine to treat the infection.
- Urine sample: For this test you need to urinate into a small container. You will be given instructions on how to clean your genital area before you urinate. Do not touch the inside of the cup. Follow instructions on where to place the cup of urine when you are done.
- Chest x-ray: This is a picture of your lungs and heart. Caregivers use it to see how your lungs and heart are doing. Caregivers may use the x-ray to look for signs of infection like pneumonia, or to look for collapsed lungs. Chest x-rays may show tumors, broken ribs, or fluid around the heart and lungs.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.