What happens when you ask for medical advice on Twitter - CNN's Anderson Cooper knows from experience

What happens when you ask for medical advice on Twitter and you are CNN's host Anderson Cooper with 1.5 million followers:

Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper

Replies:

@thehighsign I generally just go with the opinion of a million and a half strangers.

@SashaTalebi Crazy times we're living in when @andersoncooper can crowdsource his bronchitis diagnosis via Twitter. Get well soon.

@JPLondon72 When a doctor says "You have bronchitis". Usually. Not always.

@emokidsloveme I feel like @andersoncooper has health insurance. Call me crazy, but I think he could afford to pay out of pocket too. #TwitterER

@Technikohler But why don't you just hit up good ole Gupta and ask him ?

@SadaoTurner hey @sanjayguptaCNN, do u know this guy @andersoncooper

@sherrybutlerpr Tight breathing, Burning in chest, fever. B careful, walking pneumonia

@LizaLizzieHalim i knew when i had troubled breathing&it makes sounds.Then i get the doctor checked&was diagnosed with it. Still have it now.

@lynngosselin I've had bronchitis many times so yes I know...but maybe a Dr. will pick up your post

@feathersong Two words - doctor, antibiotics. Make that three words - stat. Feel better soon, you've got a show to do!

@EldinaV And use a mist vaporizer in your dream and lots of OJ

@teresac8 fever, cough, wheezing and irritated breathing but to be sure see a doctor.

@cheeki3 well you want to the homeopathic route. Oregano oil (diluted in juice) will knock it right out.#justsaying

@sherrybutlerpr Also coughing up phlegm. Get on meds. U don't slow down, so will need that or will really go down. Take good care.

Acute bronchitis: Many patients expect to be treated with antibiotics and cough meds but this differs from guidelines


Mind map of differential diagnosis of cough. See more Allergy and Immunology mind maps here.

Cough is the most common symptom bringing patients to the primary care physician's office. The most common diagnosis in these patients is acute bronchitis, according to a recent review in the official journal of AFP, American Family Physician.

Acute bronchitis should be differentiated from other common causes of cough such as pneumonia and asthma - because the therapies are clearly different.

Symptoms of acute bronchitis typically last 3 weeks. As we already know, the presence of colored (e.g., yellow or green) sputum does not reliably differentiate between bacterial and viral lower respiratory tract infections. This statement was contradicted by a recent study: Green or yellow phlegm likely to be bacterial - confirming beliefs by doctors and patients alike (http://goo.gl/zff8X and http://goo.gl/cwKGs).

Viruses cause more than 90% of acute bronchitis, and therefore, antibiotics are generally not indicated. They should be used only if pertussis is suspected to reduce transmission or if the patient is at increased risk of developing pneumonia (e.g., patients 65 years or older).

The typical therapies that have been traditionally used for managing acute bronchitis symptoms have been shown to be ineffective. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends against using cough and cold preparations in children younger than 6 years.

The supplement pelargonium may help reduce symptom severity in adults.

Many patients expect to be treated with antibiotics and cough medications but this differs from evidence-based recommendations.

References:
Diagnosis and treatment of acute bronchitis. Albert RH. Am Fam Physician. 2010 Dec 1;82(11):1345-50.

1 comment:

  1. This is a perfectly comprehensive answer. Twitter feedback is not the way to go when looking for an answer to something like the diagnosis and treatment on bronchitis. It is a good way to get a few "get well soon"s. Melissa

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