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Can anyone tell me how I know if my DD is having an asthma attack? Useless GP! :(

(9 Posts)
SleepyCaz Mon 26-Oct-09 13:26:15

mY DD is 9 months old and was given her second Ventolin inhaler with spacer this morning. She is always quite chesty, but doesn't always have a cough to go with it. At the moment she does have a cough, pretty bad, with lots of mucousy sounds and rattly breathing. Took her to GP this morning and he said she was wheezing, he could tell before he even properly examined her or listened to her chest/back. I felt awful as I didn't realise she was wheezing because I've no idea what it is. Her breathing isn't really noisy. It sometimes is at night, which is when her cough is worse.
Sometimes her cough makes her retch at the end of a cough and she seems to choke on food more than my DS ever did.
The GP this morning said that she was worse than last time I took her, and if she worsens I should take her to A and E. He asked about family history of asthma, as it may be this.

Thing is, how do I tell if she is having an asthma attack? She coughs a lot at night at the moment, and cries, but I don't know the difference between coughing fits and attacks. Help!

VineGruesomeTits Mon 26-Oct-09 13:31:00

If she was having an attack she would be struggling for breah and not just wheezing iykwim

Asthma is very difficult to diagnose in children so young, my ds2 was always very wheezing as a baby, he got given inhalers but they did nothing for him, he ended up in hospital with servre croup one time, but they could never give me an exact diagnosis to what was wrong with him. He grew out of it and is fine now (he is 3)

3littlefrogs Mon 26-Oct-09 13:37:28

Asthma usually presents with a nocturnal cough in very small children. The cough is actually to wheeze IYSWIM.

If you lift up her top you will be able to see if her breast bone looks as if it is being "sucked in" - this is called recessing, and is a sign of wheezing.

Also, if she is appearing to use her shoulder muscles or making extra effort to breath in, this is also wheezing.

A night time cough is indicative of asthma.

There is an Asthma society website with lots of useful info. I will see if I can find it.

tribeleader Mon 26-Oct-09 13:38:59

Check to see if breathing in is causing the area in the middle/front of bottom of the neck, in between collar bones is going in and/or centre just below the ribs is going in. That's how we know if son needs a & e

(sorry if that doesn't make sense, not sure if those parts have names)

Bainmarie Mon 26-Oct-09 13:39:06

Hi, I have also asked how I can tell difference between an asthma attack and coughing and was told that you couldn't really tell the difference!
I think if it is an attack, coughing would be more continuous than you would expect a coughing attack to be, but that is only based on my experience with ds1. You can also check for recession (sp? between the ribs, if you can see this, it is an attack.

Has your GP referred your dd to an asthma clinic or paediatrition (sorry, can't spell that either)? Also I don't know if you are familiar with this website, hope it helps.

3littlefrogs Mon 26-Oct-09 13:40:06

Bainmarie Mon 26-Oct-09 13:41:11

Sorry, will try again!

GhostlyPixieOnaPumpkin Mon 26-Oct-09 15:58:29

Definitely check for the 'recessions' that people have mentioned.
Take her when you feel that you need to, really - if you are really concerned about her, take her down to A&E - they're always more than happy to see children, even if they only send them away again. I think that the reasoning is that they'd rather see a wheezy awake child, than a really bad one who needs intubating.
Two Ventolins in one morning is quite a lot though - you could give NHS Direct a ring, or just take her down if you're worried?

SleepyCaz Mon 26-Oct-09 20:17:47

Thanks so much for all the messages. Just got in, will read properly and then post.

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