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4 month old struggling to breathe from birth. When do I worry?

(58 Posts)
PipBeckett Mon 08-Mar-04 11:16:44

My youngest was born at the end of November and ever since he's been having trouble breathing and is very rattly. I've had him checked by a doctor twice and she tells me not to worry. But a couple of times he's choked and I've needed to clear his air way. The GP said not to worry about it unless he stopped breathing. But I am worried. He sleeps a lot and I can hear his every breath it's that loud. Twice over the weekend I've had to clear his airway to stop him choking.

Any advise?

mothernature Mon 08-Mar-04 11:37:00

PipBeckett, hello there, when my ds2 and dd1 were born (many years ago)dd had a problem breathing, so they took her away and put her in special baby care for four days, ds2 didn't seem to have any problems breathing, when we were at home I did notice that he had a rattle in his chest when he was sleeping, I took him to the dr's who refered him to the asthma nurse, she concluded he had asthma, he went on to see a specialist who confirmed it, for your gp to say not to worry unless he stops breathing is cruel, speak to your surgery, do they have an asthma nurse? make an appointment to see her if possible, if not then take him to a&e they will see to him there, I did this on one occassion when he was struggling to chatch his breathe and his lips had turned blue...the dr there actually shouted at me for not having him registered as an asthmatic..go figure... hope everything goes ok....

PipBeckett Mon 08-Mar-04 11:41:59

Thanks mothernature. I feel I should take him back to the doctors but she made me feel like I was fussing for nothing. I had childhood asthma so it's possible he could be asthmatic. I hadn't given it much thought. I have noticed that he is worse when our dog is at home at weekends. She lives with the pils during the week. Is asthma triggered by pet hair?

Also, how much is normal for a 4 month old to sleep? My first child didn't really sleep for 18 months but James sleep's eleven hours at night, has a bottle and then another six hours.

nutcracker Mon 08-Mar-04 11:43:22

My friends dd was like that. When she was asleep you could hear ner breathing from the next room. A couple of times she actually stopped breathing, and was diagnosed with asthma and sleep apnea. The docs weren't really concerned though, as they said she would always only stop breathing for a very short time (seconds) and then start again. As she got older, her snoring was sooooo loud, that even if we were downstairs with all of the doors shut, you could still hear her. Last september, they decided to take her adenoids out, and since then, her sleep apnea, has dissapeared, she no longer snores, and her asthma and appetite is much improved.
It is obviously worrying you (it would me)so i would either speak to your doctor again and insist on refferal to peadiatrician, or mention it to your Health visitor, to see if she has any ideas. HTH

nutcracker Mon 08-Mar-04 11:44:19

Asthma can be triggered by pet hair.

PipBeckett Mon 08-Mar-04 11:49:38

I wish I could speak to my Health Visitor but I don't like her much and find her impossible to talk to. She's coming to see me this week about weaning and I wish I didn't have to let her in the house. Perhaps I could forget and be out!

How do they diagnose asthma in children? If it is asthma, could that be what's making him sleep so much?

mothernature Mon 08-Mar-04 11:54:41

I hope this helps..

aloha Mon 08-Mar-04 12:04:46

I would be worried too. I would also (sadly) ask the PILs to keep the dog if it seems to be making your ds worse. What do you mean by clear his airway? What do you do? What seems to be 'blocking' it?

nutcracker Mon 08-Mar-04 12:30:27

Asthma stopped my dd from sleeping, but that may not be the case with every child.

twiglett Mon 08-Mar-04 12:35:59

message withdrawn

nutcracker Mon 08-Mar-04 12:39:22

It does sound as though it could be asthma. I am convinced that my dd was asthmatic from birth too. She constantly had a cough and cold, and was forever on antibiotics. Unfortunatly it took ages to get her diagnosed (14 mths). It got to the point where it was soooo bad that i was going to video her. The problem was, that she didn't wheeze so the doctor wouldn't consider asthma, just kept saying that she had floppy bronchial tubes.
As you can see from the link that MN did, they don't always wheeze anyway. I wisj i'd known about that site then
If you think asthma is a big possibility, which i think it is, given the dog thing and family history, then you will have to be very insistent that something must be done. They could give you a reliever inhaler and spacer to try, then if the symptoms improved, you would know.

PipBeckett Mon 08-Mar-04 13:04:53

His symptoms are coughing and cold like symptoms which I've been putting down to the weather. But four months is a long time for that to continue.

His airway get's blocked usually when he's laughing or trying to talk. It's such a shame because he'll be lying there in a good mood and the next minute he starts choking and going blue. He can't catch his breathe and when I pick him up and slap him on the back usually a small bit of thick sick comes out and it takes him a few minutes to get back to a normal breathing pattern. I try my best to keep his mouth and nose clear and I try not to lie him down except to sleep.

My GP's is a group practise and out of the eleven I find two of them excellent. Unfortunatley, so does everyone else and getting an appointment is something of a lottery. I think it might be time to get pushy with the receptionists.

Is it worth mentioning the dog allergy to my GP? Is there some sort of test they can do? My husband loves the dog and it would break his heart if she had to go permanently.

suedonim Mon 08-Mar-04 13:07:06

A friend's adopted son was also asthmatic from birth. At first they suspected he had cystic fibrosis but at 6 weeks the diagnosis came back as asthma. The hospital said it was very rare but that was over 20yrs ago and as asthma is becoming more common, I can well believe more babies have it from birth.

I hope you can get an answer for your ds, PB, waiting for him to stop breathing seems rather extreme.

aloha Mon 08-Mar-04 13:19:29

If your ds choking and going blue, and is worse when the dog is around I don't think you should hesitate in rehoming your dog. I wouldn't hestitate personally.

Janh Mon 08-Mar-04 13:21:14

PB, does any of this fit? I looked it up because I remember a baby of about this age (she is now 21!) who had terribly rattly breathing and her mother said it was stridor (her mother is a nurse and her father is a GP.) Do you prop him up? Does it help?

I agree that waiting for him to stop breathing is ridiculous. The website I got this from is emedicine . (I picked out the bits that I thought seemed most relevant.)

<<Stridor is a harsh, high-pitched, musical sound produced by turbulent airflow through a partially obstructed airway.

Stridor is a symptom, not a diagnosis or disease, and the underlying cause must be determined. Stridor may be inspiratory, expiratory, or biphasic depending on its timing in the respiratory cycle.

The most common presenting symptom is that the child has loud, raspy, noisy breathing. The caretaker may interpret this symptom as wheezing or even as a bad cold. Depending on the underlying etiology, the presentation may be acute or chronic and may be accompanied by other symptoms

Laryngomalacia is the most common cause of inspiratory stridor in the neonatal period and early infancy and accounts for up to 75% of all cases of stridor. Stridor may be exacerbated by crying or feeding. Placing the patient in a prone position with the head up improves the stridor; supine position worsens the stridor. Laryngomalacia is usually benign and self-limiting and improves as the child reaches age 1 year.>>

hercules Mon 08-Mar-04 13:21:56

My ds had suspected asthma as a baby and we automatically got rid of the dog as at thr very least will be a big aggravator. He improved dramatically after this.

PipBeckett Mon 08-Mar-04 20:33:51

Janh, that sounds very much like how my ds is. He is a lot happier sat up and we do try and keep him propped up even when sleeping. During the day I put him to sleep in his pushchair so he isn't lied flat.

I've decided that I'm going to push to see one of the GP's I feel comfortable with tomorrow. There's no point in seeing someone who's diagnosis you have doubts in. The dog is currently at the pils so she's out of the way until weekend. I'd have to make sure it was linked to the dog before I got rid of her.

I'm going to mention stridor to the GP. He's really good and he listens which is what you want. If I know my ds is going to grow out of it then I can relax a little.

Probably totally unrelated but while I was pregnant I became super sensitive to the dog when she was home. Itching across my stomach and shortness of breath. I stopped sitting with her or stroking her and the symptoms weren't as strong. Has anyone ever heard of allergies like that being passed on during pregnancy? Or is that to weird?

nutcracker Mon 08-Mar-04 20:42:07

I'm not sure about the allergies being passed on, but your right to push to see a good doctor. Unfortunartly when trying to get dd diagnosed i only had 1 gp. In the end we took her to the local hospital who agreed with gp. Eventually we took her to Childrens hospital who immeidatly diagnosed asthma.
I used to have to sit her up to sleep too. At night i had to use a pillow, even before she was 1.
I would keep a diary too, of when each incedent happens, what happens, and any possible triggers.

Wallace Mon 08-Mar-04 20:46:58

Is he sick a lot? Sometimes reflux can cause the symptoms you described, but I think there would be other symptoms too.

PipBeckett Mon 08-Mar-04 20:54:22

He did start off being very sick and bringing up acid a couple of hours after his feed. He's now on infant gaviscon and all that is under control. When he does bring anything back now, it doesn't seem a lot but it is very thick.

PipBeckett Tue 09-Mar-04 17:50:26

I've taken ds2 to the doctors this evening and the doctor saw first hand exactly what I meant. He's referred me immediatley to the hospital and I've just come home to pack some things. It was awful, he was turning blue and couldn't get his breath. Another doctor came in and she was concerned to. So I'm feeling very anxious and upset as is my dh. Will post again when I know anything.

hercules Tue 09-Mar-04 18:00:07

Hope everything is okay. Do let us know.
Thinking of you

Wallace Tue 09-Mar-04 19:42:41

Oh goodness
Hope everything is fine. Thinking of you

Janh Tue 09-Mar-04 19:56:07

Oh, lord, what a shock for you - it's the best place for him though, hope you can get a diagnosis now and treatment. Hugs.

twiglett Tue 09-Mar-04 20:01:10

message withdrawn

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