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Respiratory Therapist/Two incidence of bronchial illness in a row


My symptoms: chest congestion, stuffy nose, sputum. Body temperature: 98.4-98.8 Sputum mostly yellowish. One day it was dirty gray.

At the end of December, 4 months ago, I was also sick. At the time, my symptoms were: small lumps/cysts in the back of my throat, loss of voice, chest congestion, stuffy nose, sputum. Body temperature - around 98.8.
Sputum at that time was dirty gray, in clots. There was plenty of such sputum, and for a few days. There also was yellow sputum.
In December, in the middle of my illness, a chest X-ray (2 projections, as I recall) was done  - it was unremarkable.

Because my present illness happened relatively shortly after the December illness, I was concerned. The dark gray color of my sputum that I had in December and a bit this time worried me. I gave my sputum for microscopic examination. Results quoted below.
I don't have chronic bronchitis or other chronic conditions with my respiratory system. Age:52.

Question: In my situation, and considering the sputum test results, should I have further tests to examine better my bronchus/lungs? If I should, what is/are the concerning factor?
Thank you.

Streaks of blood: not found
Curschmann's spirals: not found
Dietrich's plugs: not found
Fibrin clots: not found
Lung tissue fragments: not found
Character: Purulent
Color: yellowish-gray
Consistency: viscous
Odor: no odor
Layers: no
Squamous cells: a small number
Erythrocytes in view: 0 to 2
Leukocytes in view: from 50 to 100
Alveolar macrophages in view: 0 to 3
Acid fast bacilli: Not found


First off, thank you for entrusting me with your personal health concerns. I will do my best to assist you. Based on the normal xray and unremarkable sputum sample test, it doesn't appear to be an illness to be concerned much with. Odds are you had a nasty case of acute (not chronic) bronchitis that recurred, usually that just means it never fully resolved to begin with. Usually, grey "purulent" mucus is seen in people who have a long smoking history. If you DO smoke, you need to stop immedietely for too many reasons to list. Hopefully this helps, if not, let me know.

Best of health to you,

Larry W., RRT

Respiratory Therapist

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Larry W. Wical, BA-RRT


I CAN answer: ALL questions and queries related to the following topics... - Oxygen - Asthma - COPD - Bronchitis - Emphysema - Pneumonia (Viral/Bacterial) - Tuberculosis (TB) - SARS - Influenza (Flu) - Vaccines - Pulmonary Embolism - Pleural Effusion - Atelectasis - Inhalation injuries (burns, chemicals, etc.) - PFTs - Cardiovascular health - Sleep Apnea - BiPap/CPAP - Ventilators ("Respirators") - Aspiration injuries - Thoracic injuries - Lung contusions - Tracheal injuries - Artificial Tracheostomy - Secretions - Prolotherapy/Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT): A patient's experience/perspective - General health and fitness I CANNOT answer: Questions that vary too far from my primary scope of pulmonary and cardiovascular care and fitness. I promise to be open and honest about my knowledge of submitted topics, and will always openly provide my personal as well as professional feedback as it relates.


Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT, RCP) since 2005. I have worked primarily in the acute care, critical care, burn care and home care settings.

NBRC - National Board of Respiratory Care AARC - American Association of Respiratory Care

-All About Kids Magazine -The Clermont Sun -Cincy Sports & Fitness Magazine -Many online Fitness and Health blogs and "webazines"

- B.A. in Communication (1997) - A.A.S. in Respiratory Science (2005) - RRT license (state of OH, KY and IN) - Basic Life Saving (BLS) - Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) - Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS)

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Currently work in the city's largest academic/research hospital.

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