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Involuntary breath holding spells

(18 Posts)
katty339 Thu 23-Mar-17 14:52:52

Hello, sorry I am not used to using this so not sure how it works but wanted to start a new thread to see if it would flag it up to people (there are old threads on the subject). My daughter is 28 months and has had a few episodes of involuntary breath holding in the past but she has always started breathing again as soon as she passed out. Last night she fell over and got a fright and basically stopped breathing and passed out but didn't start breathing again. She went rigid and blue. I called an ambulance while she was not breathing but my husband started giving her breaths and she came round while they were still on the phone. Paramedics came round anyway and checked her obs, all fine. This was so so scary and really awful to see. I wondered if anyone else has had similar experiences and if anyone has any strategies or techniques for helping them to get out of it before they get to the stage of passing out. Any advice would be gratefully received!! Thanks, Kat

YumMum49 Mon 27-Mar-17 23:14:00

Oh gosh that's awful how scary for u all. I can't be of any help, sorry, we havent experienced this before. Feel bad and wish I could help.
Hope u have followed up with more tests and you get the answers you need soon. Good luck!

Pookie100 Tue 28-Mar-17 10:20:23

Yes my DD did this.
You need to blow very hard in their face when they start with the silent crying. This makes them take a breath involuntarily.

My DD only did this once and never again once we did the blowing in her face because I recognised all the build up to the event. Usually a tantrum and she would start to run or of breath. At that point I would hold her in front of me and blow in her face, made her take a breath. I also stopped her lying on the floor which seemed to make this worse. It is scary I know. My DD was all checked out and nothing wrong and before hand was having a massive tantrum so it all added up!

Pookie100 Tue 28-Mar-17 10:22:11

If it's not a tantrum i.e. Silent crying there is a reflex syndrome where people pass out when they have a shock, you would need this tested. I know a child who had this but she never went blue. Was your child silent crying? (Crying so hard no noise comes out?)

Collymollypuff Tue 28-Mar-17 10:26:54

Sorry to hear this, OP. I used to do this as a baby/child (according to my mum), and I'd be interested to know what the medics think about it these days. I used to go blue, apparently. I am still a fainter but am otherwise in pretty good nick at a ripe old age. smile

Pookie100 Tue 28-Mar-17 10:47:10

A paediatrician at hospital told me about blowing in their face as did a health visitor. If that's helpful?

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 28-Mar-17 18:55:56

Katty. My DS did this as a reaction to pain too. It is rare and like your DD he did need to be resuscitated once.

We were assured by the Paed that he would grow out of it by 4 and luckily he grew out of it by 3.

We didn't have any tests, I didn't know you could even get them. The Paed diagnosed him after listening to us and reading up on it.

What I did was to make sure that everyone who had him was trained in Paed Resus so preschool, DGPs etc. We were lucky in that both sets of DGPs knew anyway and Preschool did a special training session. They also had instructions on the wall of each room with instructions of how to help him.

Hopefully she'll grow out of it soon but it is worrying isn't it thanks

cloudofpink Tue 28-Mar-17 19:06:59

My daughter did this whenever she hurt herself. After a couple of scary episodes, I also found the advice to blow hard in her face. This worked and she grew out of this between 3 and 4. I also did this when I was young. It is worth warning anyone who may also look after them as it did terrify one if the staff at my dd's nursery who had' been told by her key worker.

shineon Tue 28-Mar-17 21:09:01

Yes my son had this from baby. He is 5 now & hasnt had one in about a year. We were assured he would grow out of it by 5 & he did. Its so scary though. As others have said, lay then down in a safe place so they wont hurt themselves if they pass out & fall. Blow very hard in their face & they will take a breath. Sometimes took us a few breaths to get him breathing or taking him outside into the cold air. The first few times it happened we went straight to the hospital with him & he was checked thoroughly. Nurology cardiology etc. All clear. Apparently its very common in small kids. It always happened when he got very upset or a sudden pain like stubbing his toe. It meant we could never take our eyes off him though because its silent so if he was out of our sight he could be having a spell & we wouldn't know. To be honest I got very used to it & it was second nature I just dealt with it and knew he would breathe so didn't panic. But first few times I nearly died!

shineon Tue 28-Mar-17 21:13:06

Second what JiltedJohnsJulie says, make sure everyone caring for her is aware & is trained in cpr. We had instruction posters in our kitchen for when grandparents were here.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 29-Mar-17 07:23:52

shineon is it really common? Just asking as I've never met anyon else who's child had it but I suppose it's not something I talk about much smile

flumpybear Wed 29-Mar-17 07:35:00

We had this with our first child. I think it took til she was about four to go. All carers knew what tondo, i.e. Blow hard in face if she started breath holding but it only ever happened to us thankfully as it's really scary. It passes, that's the main thing, as the brain develops

shineon Wed 29-Mar-17 11:19:28

Jilted, the doctors in hospital told me it was very common. I haven't come across any other kids who have it. I have 2 other kids, one has never had it. My baby is 1.5 now & I have seen signs of it with him, very slight signs though. I hope he doesn't develop it to the same extent.

shineon Wed 29-Mar-17 11:26:57

By the way, we had our boy at play therapy when he was 4 due to ongoing constipation issues since a baby, which progressed from medical to behavioural. The therapist felt he was a child who held things in and this manifested itself in "holding poo" but also the breath holding. She felt it was all involuntary but came from a traumatic birth & an extended hospital stay as a baby. Im not sure if she was right or not but a lot of what she said made sense, not sure if this relates to any of you...

katty339 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:27:53

Thanks so much for the replies. We dod try blowing into.hee face and in he past it has sometimes worked but it didnt this time. It is reassuring to hear others have had similar experiences!

flumpybear Wed 29-Mar-17 17:30:19

Shine - that's interesting as DD is now 8 and does have constipation so is on lactulose !! Our family friend is a neurologist who said it was brain wiring that develops in children so this causes it to right itself ... interesting about constipation tho !!
DS is just 5 and doesn't suffer either problem

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 29-Mar-17 19:01:13

DS didn't have a particularly traumatic birth and definitely has suffered from constipation, at one point when he was a baby I was getting through 70 nappies a week.

Pookie100 Wed 29-Mar-17 19:43:19

I strongly suspect my DD has ADHD. Her tantrums were like nothing I have seen before and she's 14yo and her behaviour can be dreadful. Possibly works with the neurological theory

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