Our SN area is not a substitute for expert advice. While many Mumsnetters have a specialist knowledge of special needs, if they post here they are posting as members, not experts. There are, however, lots of organisations that can help - some suggestions are listed here. If you've come across an organisation that you've found helpful, please tell us. Go to Special needs chat, Parents with disabilities, SN teens, SN legal, SN education, SN recommendations.

DS had MMR 8 days ago - today he fainted at school and had seizure! Coincidence or not????

(32 Posts)
bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 13:05:00

So after years of deliberating about MMR jab, DS (16 & HF ASD)had his last week, because of the current Measles outbreak. This morning I got a call from school to say he had passed out, been out cold for 2 - 3 mins and shook all over for 5-10 seconds.
He has never done anything like this before even when he was small and was ill.
He was fine when he left home this morning and seems fine now. He does not have a raised temperature.
I took him to the GP who said it was nothing to do with having the MMR jab, he had just fainted and had a 'hypoxic' seizure.
The question is, do I believe him or not? I'm not sure he even logged my concern on DSs records!

mummytime Belgium Thu 18-Apr-13 13:33:18

I would believe the GP. At 16 the dose in MMR will be tiny compared to his body size, and over a week later is a long time for it to cause any effect.
If you are looking for causes I would look at more immediate ones such as:anything he's eaten, sleep pattern, any other illness, chemicals being used (was he anywhere near the science labs, is there any building work happening at the school?), anxiety etc.

Personally if he was m child I would get him checked over by a doctor, especially the ears.

I hope he is better soon.

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 13:46:04

Thnaks Mummy. I just had in the back of my mind that toddlers can get a temperature 8 - 10 days after the jab and I'm sure the nurse that did his jab mentioned something too, because I remember thinking that 10 days would be a weekend, so if he was ill, at least he wouldn't miss school - he's less than 3 weeks off his 1st GCSE exam! He has fainted before but not since he was much younger, and he has never had a seizure when it has happened before.

He was sitting down watching a tv programme at the time in a normal classroom, but he did say it was a bit stuffy in there. He is eating and sleeping normally and doesn't seem at all stressed about his up and coming exams hmm, and he had GCSEs last year, so he knows the score IYSWIM.

GP did see him shortly afterwards. Just checked his blood pressure which was slightly on the low side but nothing else. DS seems fine now - except for the fact that he just went and got himself an apple after his lunch. I can't remember the last time he went and got himself a piece of fruit shock

mummytime Belgium Thu 18-Apr-13 14:05:55

I was teaching in a school once, and the Science department had to call out first aid 3 times in one week for students fainting, and at least two of them were when they were watching a video (not very grusome either).

Low blood sugar is consistent with fainting. It could be he is having another growth spurt? Encourage him to eat regularly, and extra if at all hungry, to drink lots of water/fluids, and ask if he's been more hungry/needed the toilet more. If the last two are yes, then you might want his blood sugar levels tested, and I'd definitely ask for this if he faints again.

I am probably the only mother to breath a sigh of relief when I hear the third of my 3 children start vomiting in the night. It was because he had a small break in his GCSEs and had 4 days until his English one, so just about enough time to recover.

DiscoDonkey Thu 18-Apr-13 14:10:03

I don't think a reaction to the jab would happen 8 days later tbh, worrying for you though. Hope he is ok .

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 14:21:24

He is eating fine - in the normal teenage never stops eating mode! Doesn't show any of the usual signs of diabetes, but will ask for blood sugar levels to be checked if it happens again. Good suggestion mummy
Had usual breakfast of cereal and milk plus a drink of water before he left for school at 8.00 and this happened about 11.00. He didn't have anything to eat at break but says he doesn't usually anyway. TBH at weekends he's not normally up at that time - its the afternoons and evenings when he eats non stop!
I do hope he's not having another growth spurt - he's 6ft 3" now and I struggle to get trousers to fit him already!!!

troutsprout Thu 18-Apr-13 14:28:12

Ds when through a spate of this. He is nearly 16 now ... They scraped him off the floor a few times in year 9 and 10. I think it was low blood sugar... And low blood pressure. Also he'd watched a film about something in RE once that upset him.
Keeping fingers crossed that there are no more incidents for your boy ( or mine! :-)

Bigblue, my DS2 who is 13 with ASD and hasn't had his second MMR had a very similar episode in school 18 months ago. He was watching a video in biology when he 'fainted' and shook for about 30 seconds but came around really quickly. No cold, virus or temperature, before or after. He bumped his head quite hard, though. School rang me to pick him up, I called my GP who said to take him to A & E. They checked him over, he was fine, and referred us back to his paed, that we hadn't seen for years. He was checked out in the paediatric epilepsy clinic, had a 24 hour heart ECG but no EEG as the paed said it would probably be abnormal anyway! After 15 months of no recurrence he was discharged from the clinic.

So a completely different level of concern! They think it could have been a hypoxic seizure, but we may never know. Rather concerningly, he fainted getting out of the bath (hot and stuffy bathroom) last week, and was talking nonsense throughout his 'faint.' I rang the epilepsy nurse who spoke to the paed, but they think it was 'just a faint.'

I have been hanging around while he's in the bath, banning tree climbing, road cycling and following him about in swimming pools ever since.

There is a co morbidity with epilepsy and ASD, as in those people with ASD have a greater number with epilepsy that average. If you are still concerned, ignore the GP and take him to A & E.

BTW, reading back it sounds like all this happened immediately. It didn't. The referral to the paed took 3 months, the ECG took another 6 months etc.

zzzzz Thu 18-Apr-13 14:39:06

Photo sensitive epilepsy?

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 14:49:05

That is interesting Ellen, we are all going to be unnerved by this for a while I think, in case it happens again,. I can see he is going to get really p****d off with me asking him if he is OK every time we are somewhere a little warm and he goes quiet! I was recounting to DS earlier how he didn't even have febrile convulsions when he was little and had a fever, but there was one episode I remember when he was 5/6 where his temp was 40 c one night and he was sitting bolt upright in bed talking absolute gibberish - something about moving the covers so he could see the boats!!! (just to clarify - there were no boats).

DS has never been under a Paed as he was assessed by CAMHS. GP is pretty certain it wasn't an epileptic seizure though - lets hope he's right as DS wants to start driving lessons later this year!!!

His dad did say that he had a similar episode when he was 19/20 and was carted off to hospital. He has never had another one since and he is 51 quite old now!

The dilemma now is, do I take him for the 2nd MMR jab (this was only his 1st one) in a couple of months time, as recommended?

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 14:52:46

I think if he was photo sensitive zzzz we would have known before now - he's been in plenty of situations before where there have been flashing lights with no ill effects - and this was a BBC 2 History documentary he was watching!

Nah! The second jab is only to catch the 15 - 20% for whom the first jab doesn't work. It's not a booster as such, just another dose. And I can't help thinking if the first one doesn't work for some, maybe there's a reason in their physiology and a second may well not work either?

<Just my opinion, not a medical professional wink >

I was told that about 10% of people have one seizure in their lives and no recurrence.

I have been thinking I must get DS3 immunised at least once with the MMR, now he's nearly 11. He's quirky as anything but not dxable. Was going to wait until after his SATS and residential just in case it makes him poorly.

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 15:02:33

I was told that the numbers for whom the 1st jab doesn't work is only 5 - 10% so the chance are he will be immune now anyway and if he's not, then as you say, he still might not be after the 2nd one.
DD only had the 1st one as GP said he wouldn't recommend 2nd one for her because of all her other health issues and described it as a "massive attack on the immune system" - and that was before the Wakefield report!

I took him to the GP who said it was nothing to do with having the MMR jab, he had just fainted and had a 'hypoxic' seizure.

The GP really can't know this for sure. If this is his first ever seizure I would report it as a potential adverse reaction tbh. Reporting it doesn't mean it is one - it just means it should be considered as a possibility. You can report it here yourself

The risk of febrile seizures btw is known to increase 8-14 days post MMR. This doesn't sound like a febrile seizure but I think should still be reported as a potential adverse reaction.

zzzzz Thu 18-Apr-13 17:08:06

I'm not clear what a non-epileptic seizure is? hmm

If the MMR had lowered his seizure threshold, and he didnt have a temperature, but was watching a video, I would think photo sensitivity was a reasonable guess as to trigger.

That doesn't make him any more or less epileptic and certainly one seizure wouldn't imply epilepsy. That said if the video did obtain flashing lights (eg older black and white film of the blitz/other multiple explosions) I personally would want my child to avoid that stimuli for some time, even given his seizure threshold is likely to return to normal given time.

My child's epilepsy is severe and I have little experience of more " normal" epilepsy.

Having a quick google it seems that MMR has been linked to seizures occurring 10 days after vaccination so I would report it.

Makes sense to me zzzzz

wonderingagain Thu 18-Apr-13 17:22:53

It ought not to be MMR, but in case there are similar cases, if you report it to MHRA they may see a pattern. If it's not reported they won't.

https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/

Pixel Thu 18-Apr-13 17:48:58

My sister had epilepsy and getting overheated often triggered it (hot buildings/overheated shops kind of warm, not sunny day warm). The flashing lights on the tv wouldn't have affected her at all but the stuffy room would have.

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 18:22:20

The GP described a hypoxic seizure as being triggered by a loss of oxygen to the brain (when he fainted) and the shaking/seizure activity is the body's response in shaking itself back into action to get oxygen to the brain again. My understanding is that an epileptic seizure is caused by unusual electrical activity in the brain. Both types can be caused by 'overheating'.
My DD is epileptic and often has seizures triggered by high termperature due to illness or just the external environment, and flashing lights affect her too.
DDs epilepsy is part of her chromosome disorder and is a result of her 'unusually developed' brain so there is no reason to suspect that DS might have epilepsy just because his sister does - there is no other family history.
I suppose the jab could have lowered his epilepsy 'threshold' . Don't know if there was any flashing/flickering on the film - I will ask him, but he plays lots of video games without any ill effects.
Will discuss with DH tomorrow night (he is away tonight) about reporting via Yellow Card.
Don't think I'll get much sleep tonight though as now on my own with 2 children who might have a seizure, instead of just one sad

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 18:44:29

saintly having googled, most of the articles relate to febrile convulsions in young children. As far as I know, DS did not have a raised temperture (although school medical officer didn't check it as she said "we've been advised not to check temperatures anymore") confused, but I checked it when he got home and it was fine. He just said he felt hot before it happened, but felt fine afterwards (apart from a slight headache).
I don't suppose there are many statistics for 16yo boys having MMR for the 1st time. I think they give a booster to girls at 14, but they will presumably have had it as toddlers and wouldn't agree to having it again at 14 if they had an adverse reaction as a baby.

Yes but there was a payout for a 10 day (none febrile) one - so it happens.

Surveillance studies seem to take 7 days post vaccination at the high risk time so 8 days only just out if it.

zzzzz, the epilepsy specialist paed I saw for DS2 said that an epileptic seizure was caused by abnormal electrical brain activity and that non-epileptic seizures (NAS) are generally caused by loss of blood flow to the brain, due to heart conditions or low blood pressure etc. That's why DS2 had an ECG with there being a history of heart problems in my family.

No expert here, though!

zzzzz Thu 18-Apr-13 19:11:37

This is good to know thanks

I thought seizure was the same as epileptic seizure IYSWIM. I knew there were different kind (eg partial, complex, TC, absences etc) but had no idea about non neurological causes. Wow!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now