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rapid breathing in infants

(18 Posts)
Lil Tue 17-Sep-02 14:33:02

Has anyone experienced rapid breathing in an infant? I have a friend who wants to know wether she should be worried about it. Her 7 month old baby has always breathed fast and we counted 65 breathes in a minute the other day.I don't think this is normal, its seems much faster than my ds. Do you think she should be worried and approach the GP?

whellid Tue 17-Sep-02 14:50:40

My ds is now 8 months and has only just stopped having what we call 'Rolf Harris moments', where he suddenly breathes rapidly for a while. He has always had rapid breathing spells from birth, and at first I checked with everyone as to whether it was 'normal'. They all reassured me it was nothing to worry about and over the months it has got less and less frquent. He has even had 'moments' in front of the HV and she didn't seem bothered by it at all.

How often does this happen to your friends baby? If she is worried I would tell her to check with the HV or Dr if only to put her mind at rest.

Lil Tue 17-Sep-02 15:29:12

It seems to be pretty constant, I didn't notice it until she pointed it out, then I could see how quickly his chest moved up and down. He doesn't seem to be bothered, only it must be exhausting. Maybe there will be problems when he gets more active. Its good news that your son recovered completely.

whellid Tue 17-Sep-02 15:43:08

Lil, it's seemed to be the more active that ds is the less he has done this.

It seems like something very different for your friends baby though if it is constant. Has her HV / doctor not commented on it at all ?

MABS Tue 17-Sep-02 16:11:17

Lil - was the baby prem at all or had any nasty chest infections? We had it with ds from 10 wks - 20 wks and he was admitted to hospital for monitoring 4 times BUT he was prem . I think your friend should check it out with the gp, sure its nothing but it does sound a little bit fast.

LIZS Tue 17-Sep-02 19:12:25

I would definitely have the baby checked over to put her mind at rest if nothing else.

I took our dd to the dr because she was coughing so hard she was being sick and this had been preceded by a night of rapid shallow breathing. I didn't think much of the connection between the two and thought she would simply be prescribed a cough linctus. However she was immediately diagnosed with bronchiolitis which could have turned really nasty.

I doubt that your friend's baby has this since it sounds like a regular occurrence and rsv/bronchiolitis tends to be more prevalent in the winter. However my lesson is not to let even apparently minor changes in breathing patterns go without checking it out, even if this does cause the odd false alarm.

Hope all turns out ok,


lou33 Tue 17-Sep-02 22:38:54

Is the baby "sucking in" his/her chest? If you look at a baby while it is lying down and watch the middle of the chest just under the ribcage, it is usually a good indicator as to whether a baby is struggling to get enough air.The chest looks like it is being sucked in, causing a "dip" in that area on inhalation. Regardless of any symptoms, if your friend is worried she should go to a gp just to be sure.

Lil Mon 23-Sep-02 13:18:53

**** If in doubt, go to the GP....Yes, yes, YES!!!!

Thanks guys. The hospital took the baby in for 4 days observations! They thought it was brocolitis at first but it isn't. It is still breathing fast, which means there is something very wrong, so it is being put thru' various tests. Scarey.

For the record the average breath rate for a baby is about 30-40 a minute.

mears Tue 24-Sep-02 10:35:57

Rate of breathing depends on age - a newborn's rate is 40-60 per minute just incase anyone out there panics

Lil Tue 24-Sep-02 10:59:07

Mears you must have come across this rapid breathing in infants in your career. What is the most common reason?

whellid Tue 24-Sep-02 11:25:54

Glad that your friend went to the doctors Lil. I hope they find out what it is soon.

dem Tue 24-Sep-02 21:20:08

My daughter is 6 weeks old and since about 3.5 weeks has had fairly long spells of frantic behaviour. Its more than 'rolf harris syndrome'. It is most likely to occur after feeds but can last up to 3 hours after. The symptoms are frantic arms/legs movement, screwed up face, almost panic like arching of the back with very rapid breathing. She looks so uncomfortable and is very difficult to settle. During sleep she will often let out a loud, high pitched yelp (like breathing in while being choked). She is feeding on Cow&Gate Omneo 1 on advice from the HV and we are giving her gripe water every other feed, but nothing seems to work. Any advice? Its so upsetting to watch her squirm and squeal in what looks like agony. She rarely cries though.

mears Tue 24-Sep-02 21:35:01

Lil, there are various reasons for rapid breathing. In newly born babies it is very common especially after C/S because babies may have residual fluid in the lungs that has not been squeezed out if you like during the birth process. It resolves after a few hours in most cases. Sometimes big babies have rapid breathing without having an underlying problem. Babies with a temperature will breathe rapidly as will babies with chest infections or any other infection. There are many reasons that are not particularly serious. Babies with cardiac problems may have rapid breathing but that will not be the only sign of a serious problem.
Hope your friend's baby is better soon and that it will prove to be nothing too serious. Let us know what happens.

Lil Wed 25-Sep-02 12:15:47

dem, that sounds like classic reflux, its really painful for the baby because it brings up acid back into the throat, my baby has it. I would push your HV on this, there's plenty of easy solns. My dd is on Gaviscon, and it isn't as severe as yours sounds but there's plenty of simple drug cures. There's a couple of mumsnet threads on it if you do a search. Good luck.

MaMattoo Tue 19-Apr-11 12:47:32

10 mo baby had rapid breathing, cough and high fever. GP said it might is an ear infection as his chest was clear. amoxycillin and paracetamol and i was sent home with baby. His breathing got a LOT worse suddenly. Called 999. Oxygen was low, paedtrc at hospital said bronchiolitis. Gave him nebulizer for a few hours and then some obs and then sent home with a inhalator and medication. fever gone with the inhalator, baby breathing better.
Lesson learnt - when i doubt..go see a Paedtrc or go to the hospital.

jay2101 Fri 09-Oct-15 22:08:29

Hi there my son is 16 weeks and breathes 2 fast breaths at a time mainly when sleeping but does do this occasionally when awake. Took him doc and he said its normal. But I never heard anything like this with my other 2 kids. Just want some advice as to what other people think? Is this normal? Thanks ??

rahilaz Mon 14-Dec-15 23:53:23

Hi jay2101. My 10 week old does exactly the same thing! It stresses me out as he's already had bronchiolitis, he's prem born at 34 weeks and has a congenital cardiac condition! So I'm incredible paranoid about everything- especially since my older 2 didnt do this. But he's had this double rapid breathing thing since he was born and although I find it unsettling he seems fine with it. He has his first cardiac follow up tomorrow so hoping everything including this rapid breathing falls under the remit of normal.

Tomboyinatutu Tue 15-Dec-15 00:19:27

The best time to count his resps is when he is sleeping/calm, check to see if the skin at the bottom of his throat and under the ribs is being pulled in when he breaths. If this is the case and his resps are still high when resting then it is definitely worth getting it checked out by a doctor. The skin pulling in is a sign that they are struggling to breath

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