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  #1  
Old 05-14-2008, 10:59 PM
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Question about lungs

A good friend of mine (75 years old) is in the VA hospital with a severe lung problem and I wonder if one of you might be able to help answer some questions.
Here is the story. When he was in the Army he was part of the atomic bomb testing in Nevada. About ten years ago he developed lung cancer from the radio active dust he breathed in (non smoker). Doctors removed the cancer and he has been healthy untill about 2 weeks ago. For 2 weeks he has been in and out of intensive care and can hardly breath. High resperation rate high heart rate and low oxygen saturation. With the positive air pressure mask on forcing oxygen into his lungs he does fine.
Here is the question. It occured to him today that what started all this was trying to siphon gas from a car. About 3 hours after he tried to siphon gas from one of his cars he was in the hospital and has been messed up ever since. He doesnt want to tell the doctors what he did probably because he feels stupid. Do you guys think his treatment might be changed if they knew what happened. If it was up to me I would tell his doctor tomorrow morning but he asked me not to tell so for now I'm respecting his wishes. right now he's doing ok and I have only known for about 4 hours. He trusts me enough to ask me to be his power of attorney and listed as his next of kin.
Thanks for reading. I hope there is a doctor/ lung specialist on this board.

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  #2  
Old 05-14-2008, 11:13 PM
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*****, Omegaman, that's terrible. It's stories like this that stop me cold from the usual BS that I post here.

I had a friend who was a naval officer and physicist during WWII. Post war he was involved in developing the H Bomb and was on a ship in the lagoon of an atoll in the Pacific for one of the tests. He died of a cancer in 1989, for which the US gov never took responsibility because he could not prove a causal link between his extreme exposure to radiation and the cancer that he developed when he was in his 70's.

Concerning the proximate cause of your trusted friend's condition, I have no idea what sort of medical advice is reasonable.

But your friend trusts you enough to put his estate in your hands and to burden you with his own suspicions. Do you think he is ashamed to inform the docs and is shifting responsibility to you? I would say he has already demonstrated his trust in your judgement. What he has done may or may not have any bearing on his health. You don't know that but he is trusting you to make the decision for him.

Does he want to live?

This is a wonderful and terrible question, Omegaman. You have been entrusted with a man's life and well-being. Maybe you should talk to your friend again and see what his wishes are.

Best wishes to you. This has got to be a tough, tough time for you.

B
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  #3  
Old 05-14-2008, 11:21 PM
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This is a Dr.Laura type response.

You should tell your friend that he should tell the Doctor about the gas, and if he doesn't, you will tell the Doc.
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  #4  
Old 05-14-2008, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistel View Post
This is a Dr.Laura type response.

You should tell your friend that he should tell the Doctor about the gas, and if he doesn't, you will tell the Doc.
I tend to agree with this. there might be a third way though. You might simply ask the doctor if what he did could trigger something. In a hypothetical way without saying it actually happened.

I have no idea whether it has any bearing or not but if there is a chance it is linked the doc should have a chance to help.

I am of the opinion that folks often tell us things for a reason.

Tom W
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:43 AM
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I would tell the Doc this. It could save his life. He has fuel poisoning!
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  #6  
Old 05-15-2008, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMEGAMAN View Post
I hope there is a doctor/ lung specialist on this board.
I'm not a doc, but a brief Google search confirmed my suspicion that aspirating liquid gasoline or diesel fuel is a bad thing to do - more so than I might have guessed.

Purely from a nuts-and-bolts standpoint? Tell the doc.

From an interpersonal relationship standpoint? That's your call.

I wish your friend - and you - the best on this one.
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:19 AM
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He probably burnt his lungs. It might be reversible. He needs to give all the facts. If they judged on stupidity, most people wont be treated. They need to know this so they know where to look for the problems. The doctor will not say it is stupid. Too much info they can filter out. Too little wastes their time chasing ghosts. So says the NP wife
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:57 AM
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Two stupids don't make a smart. He did what a lot of us have done-siphoned fuel. That's not necessarily stupid. But his failing to tell the Dr about this is definitely stupid.
The question for you is do you want him die happy that you kept his secret or do you want him to live to be angry because you told the Dr?
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:18 AM
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As all other's posted, I agree that the gasoline injestion should be reported to his doc at once!

However, barring inhaling a large amount of gas fumes, what does swallowing a bit of gasoline have anything to do with lungs? I'm no doctor, but I would think possible harm would be rendered to the digestive system, not respiratory.
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  #10  
Old 05-15-2008, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by G-Benz View Post
As all other's posted, I agree that the gasoline injestion should be reported to his doc at once!

However, barring inhaling a large amount of gas fumes, what does swallowing a bit of gasoline have anything to do with lungs? I'm no doctor, but I would think possible harm would be rendered to the digestive system, not respiratory.
Ingestion of gasoline isn't good, but aspiration can be especially bad news for the lungs.

Sometimes people aspirate stuff during vomiting, too - so it can start by ingesting something bad.
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistel View Post
This is a Dr.Laura type response.

You should tell your friend that he should tell the Doctor about the gas, and if he doesn't, you will tell the Doc.
X2. Defintely tell the doctors- cause they don't know what to look for if it isn't slapping them in the face. If I had a choice between dying and looking stupid I'd parade around the universe with a brightly colored, feather adorned dunce cap! Hope your friend gets better and good for you to step up to the plate and help him out- your a great friend.
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2008, 10:59 AM
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.

I think I would rather have him mad at me than dead.

If he really wanted to keep it a secret he would not have told you.

Gasoline acts as a central nervous system depressant.
Here is the MSDS for gasoline
http://www.hess.com/ehs/msds/9950AllGradesGasoline.pdf
The gasoline could easily be causing his symptoms.

Hope this helps
RichC

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Old 05-15-2008, 11:12 AM
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I'd say you should advise him to tell the MD. Let him make up his mind if he wants to die or live. Don't break confidence.
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  #14  
Old 05-15-2008, 12:09 PM
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Thanks for all the help and support. He does want to live, infact he's affraid he might die. He's a tough old man and has plans on going hunting this fall with an oxygen bottle if he has to ( I think he's nuts but what do I know) I printed out the msds sheet from the link supplied here and will bring that to him today so I can use that as leverage to get him to talk. I stopped by my arthritis doctor this morning on an unrelated matter and told her the story and she agree's with all of you he needs to tell the doc's. Thanks for the help I'll let you know how he makes out.
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  #15  
Old 05-15-2008, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Benz View Post
As all other's posted, I agree that the gasoline injestion should be reported to his doc at once!

However, barring inhaling a large amount of gas fumes, what does swallowing a bit of gasoline have anything to do with lungs? I'm no doctor, but I would think possible harm would be rendered to the digestive system, not respiratory.
He didnt swallow any gasoline just breathed it in.

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