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Q. My grandfather is throwing up with cold, chills and coughing up phlegm. What should we do?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 09, 2019

Hello doctor,

My grandfather is 92 years old. He had been throwing up with cold chills, hot flashes, coughing up lots of phlegm, sore throat, back, and stomach pain. But there is no fever. What should we do? What could it be?

Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary

Andrology Geriatrics Psychiatry Psychologist/ Counsellor Psychotherapy Sexology


Welcome to

After going through your query I must admit that the first possibility is of pneumonia or lower respiratory tract infection. As he is having all signs of pneumonia other than fever. It should be ruled out with a chest x-ray and complete blood count. With the advancement of age, it is common for a person to present without fever or even hypothermia in case of chest infection.

The other possibility in your grandfather is of abscess in an abdominal cavity particularly sub phrenic area. It can be detected with the help of abdominal ultrasound and complete blood count. In case if there is associated urinary frequency, urgency or burning of micturation present with all these symptoms then the urinary tract infection should be ruled out.

I request you to get the following details from a nearby laboratory.

1. Complete blood count.

2. Urine microscopy and culture with sensitivity.

3. Chest x-ray.

4. Blood widal.

At the same time, you are requested to visit your primary care physician as soon as possible. The presence of infection at this age may have grave consequences including acute confusional state and death. Before you can get an appointment with him, give him anti-emetics, antipyretics and lots of fluid.

I hope this helps.

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