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Asthma in Children

(15 Posts)
Fimbo Tue 15-Mar-05 19:14:32

I have looked at various websites re Asthma and to be honest find all the information a bit confusing. If you have a child with Asthma can you tell me exactly how they were diagnosed. My two have frequent bouts of coughing and dd has been given a puffer type thing ages ago, but she never got the hang of it. Any info gratefully received. TIA

Fimbo Tue 15-Mar-05 20:17:38

Sorry, it wasn't a puffer it was a kind of face mask thing.

misdee Tue 15-Mar-05 20:23:51

dd1 was diagnoised at under 1yr old after an actual attack. she then had frequent night coughings, wheezes when ill and has several more attacks since then.

Fimbo Tue 15-Mar-05 20:26:37

Thanks Misdee - sorry but can you describe what an attack is like? Is is just coughing and wheezing or is there anything else and how long does an attack last.

Sorry to be a pain, I get worried about ds as he was born with a heart murmur which I am told has gone away but its always at the back of my mind.

misdee Tue 15-Mar-05 20:34:19

dd1 starts wheezing a lot. it can start suddenly or can start with coughing. its a horrible noise. the 2nd attack she had she was hospitalised, as the 1st time we took her to A+E they discharged her after giving her loads of the blue inhalor. but she got worse once we got home. she was back at A+E within hours, and was given an nebuliser, and admitted to the ward. she had another nebuliser dureing the night. Her SATS were also low (high 80's IIRC).

The last attack happened at my sisters house as she hadnt put her cat out (dd1 is allergic to cats), and she was just coughing and wheezing. giving the blue inholor stopped it quickly.

Its best to get an attack sorted ASAP, i think recommended u give a dose of the blue inhalor, wait 5-10minutes, then give another dose. if no improvement then go to A+E/GP for further treatment.

During coughs and colds, we tend to up dd1 brown inhalor by an extra dose, then drop it back down when she is well. this was done on GP's advice.

Fimbo Tue 15-Mar-05 20:36:03

Thanks Misdee, that has made things a lot clearer now.

nutcracker Tue 15-Mar-05 20:36:08

Well this is a bit long so bear with me.

Dd2 was born at 35 weeks and spent 2 weeks in scbu on antibiotics and being tube fed as she was slow to feed.
When we eventually brought her home she was fine for about 4/6 weeks and then she got a cold. From that point on the whole thing became a circus. She would cough and cough until she was sick or and it was like she really couldn't get her breath. She continued to do this after tghe cold had gone and i took her to the local g.p. He said she had floppy bronchial tubes and gave me some liqued salbutamol which had no effect what so ever. She carried on exactly as before and would cough regularly throughout the night being sick and also during the day she would cough and cough and dribble continually.

Over the next 12mths we went backwards and forwards to the gp several times and each tuime he said she needed liqued salbutamol. Each time we asked if she could be asthmatic he would say no, she is too young.
It got to the point where i was going quite mad as she only slept properly about 2 hours a night. I went to the g.p to beg him to do soemthing and he admitted that he didn't know what to do, but agreed that he would write me a letter to take to a&e.
We went to the local a&e and dd had a coughing fit in reception and was sick all over dp. Hospital did a chest xray which was clear and so sent us home with yet more liqued salbutamol and a NO to the could it be asthma question.

Eventually we could stand it no longer and took her to a different hospital and basically refused to move until someone told us what was wring with her.
Within an hour we finally had a diagnosis of Asthma and dd was given a salbutamol inhaler and a spacer. The doc there said that the liqued salbutamol that we had repeatadly been given was about as much use as water.
When we went back to the gp and told him he said that he hadn't though it was asthma because dd had never had a wheeze.

The inhaler did help her alot and the night time cough virtually dissapeared unless she had a cold.
A couple of times though she would get bad again and we were given a short course of steroids for her, which helped alot.
I though that she may outgrow it then but at 22nths she got pneumonia and was very ill for a week. I had nearly not taken her to the hospital as she wasn't that bad, thankfully i went with my instinct and took her, later that night she was hooked up to oxygen and on IV antibiotics, shje slept for a week more or less poor thing.

Anyway she is now 5 and on the whole her asthma is ok. She has a steroid inhaler now to prevent her asthma playing up and she uses that every day and then she has her blue one which she uses when she is bad.
She still doesn't wheeze and will still just cough and cough so much that she can't even speak. Luckily now i know when it is really bad and whip her up to the hospital where they give her a nebulizer and more steroids.

Do they cough alot at night ?????? or is it just in the day, can you see any pattern to it ??

nutcracker Tue 15-Mar-05 20:36:52

Sorry, that was long wasn't it

misdee Tue 15-Mar-05 20:40:45

I hate that line 'we cant dx in young children'.

apparently it because they cant measure the peak airflow and do other checks at this age.

Fimbo, do you children have any other 'atopic' problems? dd1 has eczema, hayfever and other allergies. TBH i am epxecting dd2 to devolope asthma at some point as she is having the same reactions dd1 has had, but delayed by 6-12months IYKWIM.

and do you know what murmur your son has? dd2 has a soft systolic murmur (innocent)

Fimbo Tue 15-Mar-05 20:44:05

God that was awful you had to go through all that Nutcracker before you got a proper diagnosis. Thanks for all the info it has been really helpful. In answer to your question, dd coughs a lot during the day, not so much at night and never wheezes. Ds never had a cold until he was about 10 mths (when the weather started to change) and since then he repeatedly has had coughs and colds, apart from Christmas when we had two weeks of bliss, he wheezes slightly but not to the point of breathlessness iyswim. He has coughed and coughed so much tonight he threw up all over the kitchen floor. With both of them it seems to be much better when the weather is warmer.

bensmum3 Tue 15-Mar-05 20:44:44

My dd used to cough during and after exercise and almost always at night,(this was how it was diagnosed aged 3) I didn't really notice the wheeze unless I really sat and listened to her,she had an inhaler for a while(used reguarly till age 4, then just occasionally) but she can now manage without any medication (she's 10,walks 1/2 mile to school everyday and 1/2 mile back,& mucks out horses on a sunday)).

nutcracker Tue 15-Mar-05 20:52:11

Yes dd's is always worse in cold weather although extremely hot weather can set her off too, extremes of temps seem to be her main trigger, oh anbd colds.

I think if i were you, i would just perhaps keep a note of it all. I did this because it was hard to explain to the docs that it wasn't like a normal cough, it was like she would cough and then not get her breath which would make her cough and so on and so on. I even got to the point that i was gonna video dd.
The fact they they don;'t cough at night is good, because usually when the temp drops at night this would set it off if it was asthma.

If ds is wheezy though then i woiuld probably prefer to have an inhaler in the house just incase.

Fimbo Tue 15-Mar-05 20:52:38

Misdee-DD has very slight eczema, which is clear at the moment. Ds has not shown any signs so far. At the hosp. we were just told it was a heart murmur and not given any further info just a follow up with a heart specialist who said he didn't have one (this was 3 weeks after the birth) they did say whilst babies are developing in the womb, some heart valves remain open and are supposed to slam shut (in effect like a door) when they are born, but in some babies this doesn't happen until after the birth and is detected as a heart murmur. On the whole he is quite a big boy and healthy looking he was 9lb 6oz when he was born. My dh has eczema quite badly and has done so since childhood, and has developed hayfever only quite recently, he thinks he vaguely (men!!) remembers his mum saying he was born with pneumonia although I have never heard of this before. His parents live miles away from us but I will ask her next time I see her.

Ameriscot2005 Tue 15-Mar-05 21:41:42

My DD has had life-threatening wheezing since the age of 15 months (she's almost 3 now). She has never been formally diagnosed with asthma because the onset of her wheezing is very specific - with a cold - and is not particular dominated by coughing. And she has absolutely no risk factors for atopic diseases.

She is treated as is she is asthmatic though - blue and brown inhalers. I don't care what they call it - the treatment works.

FIMAC1 Tue 15-Mar-05 22:58:18

My son was in a similar situation to Nutcracker - born at 32 weeks - 2 months is SCBU - one lifethreatening bought of pneumonia, 3 weeks in hospital - then the next three years of chest infections, courses of steriods for his chest, nebulisers if it was really bad and inhalers if it was bad but not really bad. We went on like this until he had his allergies tested and came back allergic to Cows Milk. He has not had a chest infection or needed his medication since. He went from being permanetly at the Doctors or keeping hospital appointments at the Hospital outpatients to not needing any medication or being ill.

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