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Infant Asthma

(13 Posts)
hayleylou Thu 06-Jan-05 10:05:52

Over the Christmas period my dd picked up a cold from his big brother, I took her to doctor as her breathing was getting worse, and he has said she has infant asthma. She has been given 2 inhailers and a spacer with a mask. dd hates it but I know it will make her better, has anyone else been through the same thing, and any tips for using the inhailer and spacer!!

AMerryScot Thu 06-Jan-05 10:31:31

Yep - btdt!

It's hard to use a "Volumatic Spacer Device" (clumsy conical thingy), which is what they usually give you on the NHS.

If you have about £7 to spare, you can buy an Aerochamber (the orange one, with the baby mask) from your local pharmacy. It's a lot easier to use than the Volumatic. Aerochamber

It's best to give the inhalers when the child is calm.

What inhalers do you have? Blue, brown? Has the doctor given you clear instructions as to when to use them?

hayleylou Thu 06-Jan-05 10:37:30

Great, thanks for that... will try and see if I can get hold on one!! (it is a bit difficult as we are based in Germany) dd has a brown one to take morning and night and blue one when she needs it (I hvae the same ones), dd is fine when a starting giving her it but once it has been on for a few seconds she gets upset. Nurse roughly showed me what to do but she is due back at the doctors in a few days so I will ask again.

Gwenick Thu 06-Jan-05 10:40:48

I hope they naven't made the same mistake they made with my DS1 - they htought he had 'infant asthma' - so gave him the same 2 inhalers as you've got. They didn't seem to have any effect.

However, later a better dr., discovered that he has 'seasonal' asthma which ONLY occurs if he gets a cold - he never gets it at any other time. And for that reason the inhalers he was on were completely useless! He prescribed a new one for use when he gets the colds and it work a treat (can't remember which one it it though)

bakedpotato Thu 06-Jan-05 10:46:45

how old is she? it is a hassle getting children used to the spacer, but honestly as soon as it becomes part of the routine, your dd won't bother about it. we used to put it on dd's teddies first/sing a special song/give it a special name/say 'now, breathe like an elephant'. it becomes quite a useful counting tool when they get to that stage too.
(infant asthma seems to be a very elastic term -- they told me this when they diagnosed. my dd's version is more like G's son's and goes away for months at a stretch. so don't worry, it doesn't mean your dd has got it for life)

hayleylou Thu 06-Jan-05 10:47:13

Funny you should say that, the doctor I am due to see next is a different one so it should be interesting what he says!!

coppertop Thu 06-Jan-05 11:00:04

The first clue that we had that ds1 might be asthmatic was when he had an actual attck at the age of about 3yrs. He was on his hands and knees with his shoulders going up and down very quickly. We took him to the GP immediately. It had calmed down by then but she sent us on to the hospital to get a thorough check-up, where they gave him a couple of nebulisers. They said that they thought he probably had asthma but said that they don't like to diagnose it after just one suspected attack because it can be so hard to tell with children. It was only after the 2nd attack that he was diagnosed as asthmatic and given inhalers and a spacer. I'm surprised that the GP was so quick to give your dd a diagnosis.

He absolutely hated the spacer to start with as he hates his face being covered in any way. The nurse told us that he would get used to it. I was dubious about this but she was absolutely right. After a while ds1 would actually start reminding us that it was time for what he calls his "space-mask".

AMerryScot Thu 06-Jan-05 11:04:51

They can't make a definitive diagnosis of asthmas until the child can use a peak flow meter (age 5 or 6?).

If the wheezing happens when the baby gets a cold, they are likely to call it WAVE - wheeze associated with viral episodes. It seems to be treated the same way as asthma, though, and the child is more likely to go on to develop asthma proper.

It seems really weird to get a brown inhaler after one or two episodes. My DD was hospitalised four times before getting a brown inhaler. I thought that it was important for the diagnosis to know whether the steroids made a difference or not, which is why you try to do without for a while.

hayleylou Thu 06-Jan-05 11:05:31

Dd is 6 months, Asthma does run in the family (but not since birth) so I don't know if that is why they gave her inhailers. The first doctor said she may grow out of it but if she still has it by the time she is 3 years old it is then classed as asthma. I am getting confussed about what I know and what teh doctor is saying! :0

AMerryScot Thu 06-Jan-05 11:11:24

It might be that that's just the way they treat it in Germany. My DD had her first attack in the US, and we were just given a reliever inhaler. The doctor didn't know whether it was a one-off or something that was going to be an ongoing problem. It seems that they follow the same philosophy in the UK.

Obviously, the blue inhaler is of benefit during a wheeze, but you could ask the doctor about starting the brown inhaler so early on. It's hard to know how it will pan out without much of a pattern to go on.

pinkmama Thu 06-Jan-05 11:19:50

Hi Hayleylou. My ds was diagnosed with asthma when 10 months following a string of very nasty bronchilitus infections. We are lucky that here there is a special clinic for childhood asthma and they do an enourmous amount of research. He was invovled in an non invasive trial which meant that he was given different inhalers over a period of time to see which worked best. We were given what looks like the aerochamber which was enormously better than the normal spacer, however it had been specially adapted to take his different inhalers, so not sure if it can be used with any of them normally, IYSWIM. Have to say that ds loved it and would play with it on his face for hours (rather worried me about prediliction for rubber face masks in later life . DS did grow out of it and last january when he was 23 months he was discharged by the consultant who felt he had grown out of it. He will be seen again at 5 provided nothing happens in between. Not sure how old your dd is, but it can go quite quickly, and as far as I was told, childhood asthma does certainly not mean you will be asthmatic as an adult. Good luck with it and hope it passes soon.

coppertop Thu 06-Jan-05 11:24:09

Another question you might want to ask is whether or not dd's growth will be monitored while she is using the brown inhaler. The risks of it affecting her are small but ds1 was monitored by the children's outpatients department for about 18mths or so to check that everything was okay, as well as checking he was on the right dose etc.

hayleylou Thu 06-Jan-05 11:31:49

Thanks for that... that never even crosed my mind... I suppose the doctor cannot prescribe things and that's it, there must be follow ups!!:0

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