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DS had MMR 8 days ago - today he fainted at school and had seizure! Coincidence or not????

(32 Posts)
bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 13:05:00

So after years of deliberating about MMR jab, DS (16 & HF ASD)had his last week, because of the current Measles outbreak. This morning I got a call from school to say he had passed out, been out cold for 2 - 3 mins and shook all over for 5-10 seconds.
He has never done anything like this before even when he was small and was ill.
He was fine when he left home this morning and seems fine now. He does not have a raised temperature.
I took him to the GP who said it was nothing to do with having the MMR jab, he had just fainted and had a 'hypoxic' seizure.
The question is, do I believe him or not? I'm not sure he even logged my concern on DSs records!

wonderingagain Fri 19-Apr-13 10:47:55


wonderingagain Fri 19-Apr-13 10:47:31

A GP cannot diagnose epilepsy only scans analysed by a neurologist can. E often appears in teenage years so it may be coincidece.

The Yellow card system is not used enough by the public and you should report it to the MHTA anyway regardless of the diagnosis.

zzzzz Fri 19-Apr-13 08:50:10

I definitely think reporting it is important. Dds issues with generic topiramate are NOT unique, but only through the power of Internet could I have been so firm and ultimately saved her many seizures.

saintlyjimjams Fri 19-Apr-13 07:11:59

Big blue - without saying too much just coincidentally spoken to a friend whose doctors do link her child's autism with MMR & the child had a seizure a week after the MMR (non epileptic, first ever). So really I would yellow card it. You can get 'hot batches' of vaccines which cause more problems than other batches but they need reports to identify those.

2old I don't think anyone would suggest that you can only get autism via the MMR. Autism isn't one condition anyway.

2old2beamum Thu 18-Apr-13 23:01:38

bigblue sorry it was not a criticism I know very little about autism I find Autism perplexing and unlike you have not your knowledge it was just a few thoughts.
However I have seen measles doing its worst so as usual I sit on the fence.
Hope your DS is OK

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 22:42:04

2old DSs behaviour was already 'suspect' before he was due to have MMR jab at age of 2 (I think they used to do it slighter later years ago). It was because of this that we chose not to give him the MMR - I never believed that MMR caused ASD but wasn't sure about its possible effects on a group who were already pre-disposed to ASD. He was DX with ASD at 6 - so we know for definite it wasn't caused by the MMR jab - as he hadn't had one.

It is only because of the latest Measles outbreaks that we discussed it with him and he decided he would have it. He has fainted at least twice before that I can remember and one of those was on a very hot day when they were made to stand outside for a whole school photo - bless him he looks green in that picture. Both those 'episodes' were in Primary school and he is 16 now. He has never done the 'shaking' bit before which the GP confirmed was a seizure - although not epileptic. I just feel it is a bit too much of a co-incidence that it happened today when the nurse who gave the jab said "you might feel a bit off colour in a week to 10 days". It is well documented that toddlers can become slightly unwell at this point as a mild reaction to the vaccine, so that is why I wondered if the MMR was responsible for what happened today. He hasn't suddenly become more Autistic or regressed, he hasn't developed a bowel problem, he had a fit - something he's not done before - but thankfully he seems fine now.
It will take some convincing to take him for the booster now though.

2old2beamum Thu 18-Apr-13 22:07:54

Agree with Ellen's last post DS is being investigated for NAS or it may be called syncope. DD no seizures has been fitted with a pacemaker for drop attacks as her heart rate dropped to under 30bpm.

What I really wanted to say is many years ago when working on nights a baby was admitted with seizures Mum just said "Good job it wasn't tomorrow else we would have blamed MMR"

Also there were incidences of Autism before MMR was introduced.
I stand to be corrected

zzzzz Thu 18-Apr-13 19:11:37

This is good to know thanks

I thought seizure was the same as epileptic seizure IYSWIM. I knew there were different kind (eg partial, complex, TC, absences etc) but had no idea about non neurological causes. Wow!

zzzzz, the epilepsy specialist paed I saw for DS2 said that an epileptic seizure was caused by abnormal electrical brain activity and that non-epileptic seizures (NAS) are generally caused by loss of blood flow to the brain, due to heart conditions or low blood pressure etc. That's why DS2 had an ECG with there being a history of heart problems in my family.

No expert here, though!

saintlyjimjams Thu 18-Apr-13 18:48:55

Yes but there was a payout for a 10 day (none febrile) one - so it happens.

Surveillance studies seem to take 7 days post vaccination at the high risk time so 8 days only just out if it.

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 18:44:29

saintly having googled, most of the articles relate to febrile convulsions in young children. As far as I know, DS did not have a raised temperture (although school medical officer didn't check it as she said "we've been advised not to check temperatures anymore") confused, but I checked it when he got home and it was fine. He just said he felt hot before it happened, but felt fine afterwards (apart from a slight headache).
I don't suppose there are many statistics for 16yo boys having MMR for the 1st time. I think they give a booster to girls at 14, but they will presumably have had it as toddlers and wouldn't agree to having it again at 14 if they had an adverse reaction as a baby.

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 18:22:20

The GP described a hypoxic seizure as being triggered by a loss of oxygen to the brain (when he fainted) and the shaking/seizure activity is the body's response in shaking itself back into action to get oxygen to the brain again. My understanding is that an epileptic seizure is caused by unusual electrical activity in the brain. Both types can be caused by 'overheating'.
My DD is epileptic and often has seizures triggered by high termperature due to illness or just the external environment, and flashing lights affect her too.
DDs epilepsy is part of her chromosome disorder and is a result of her 'unusually developed' brain so there is no reason to suspect that DS might have epilepsy just because his sister does - there is no other family history.
I suppose the jab could have lowered his epilepsy 'threshold' . Don't know if there was any flashing/flickering on the film - I will ask him, but he plays lots of video games without any ill effects.
Will discuss with DH tomorrow night (he is away tonight) about reporting via Yellow Card.
Don't think I'll get much sleep tonight though as now on my own with 2 children who might have a seizure, instead of just one sad

Pixel Thu 18-Apr-13 17:48:58

My sister had epilepsy and getting overheated often triggered it (hot buildings/overheated shops kind of warm, not sunny day warm). The flashing lights on the tv wouldn't have affected her at all but the stuffy room would have.

wonderingagain Thu 18-Apr-13 17:22:53

It ought not to be MMR, but in case there are similar cases, if you report it to MHRA they may see a pattern. If it's not reported they won't.

saintlyjimjams Thu 18-Apr-13 17:18:01

Having a quick google it seems that MMR has been linked to seizures occurring 10 days after vaccination so I would report it.

Makes sense to me zzzzz

zzzzz Thu 18-Apr-13 17:08:06

I'm not clear what a non-epileptic seizure is? hmm

If the MMR had lowered his seizure threshold, and he didnt have a temperature, but was watching a video, I would think photo sensitivity was a reasonable guess as to trigger.

That doesn't make him any more or less epileptic and certainly one seizure wouldn't imply epilepsy. That said if the video did obtain flashing lights (eg older black and white film of the blitz/other multiple explosions) I personally would want my child to avoid that stimuli for some time, even given his seizure threshold is likely to return to normal given time.

My child's epilepsy is severe and I have little experience of more " normal" epilepsy.

saintlyjimjams Thu 18-Apr-13 16:53:52

The risk of febrile seizures btw is known to increase 8-14 days post MMR. This doesn't sound like a febrile seizure but I think should still be reported as a potential adverse reaction.

saintlyjimjams Thu 18-Apr-13 16:46:58

I took him to the GP who said it was nothing to do with having the MMR jab, he had just fainted and had a 'hypoxic' seizure.

The GP really can't know this for sure. If this is his first ever seizure I would report it as a potential adverse reaction tbh. Reporting it doesn't mean it is one - it just means it should be considered as a possibility. You can report it here yourself

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 15:02:33

I was told that the numbers for whom the 1st jab doesn't work is only 5 - 10% so the chance are he will be immune now anyway and if he's not, then as you say, he still might not be after the 2nd one.
DD only had the 1st one as GP said he wouldn't recommend 2nd one for her because of all her other health issues and described it as a "massive attack on the immune system" - and that was before the Wakefield report!

Nah! The second jab is only to catch the 15 - 20% for whom the first jab doesn't work. It's not a booster as such, just another dose. And I can't help thinking if the first one doesn't work for some, maybe there's a reason in their physiology and a second may well not work either?

<Just my opinion, not a medical professional wink >

I was told that about 10% of people have one seizure in their lives and no recurrence.

I have been thinking I must get DS3 immunised at least once with the MMR, now he's nearly 11. He's quirky as anything but not dxable. Was going to wait until after his SATS and residential just in case it makes him poorly.

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 14:52:46

I think if he was photo sensitive zzzz we would have known before now - he's been in plenty of situations before where there have been flashing lights with no ill effects - and this was a BBC 2 History documentary he was watching!

bigbluebus Thu 18-Apr-13 14:49:05

That is interesting Ellen, we are all going to be unnerved by this for a while I think, in case it happens again,. I can see he is going to get really p****d off with me asking him if he is OK every time we are somewhere a little warm and he goes quiet! I was recounting to DS earlier how he didn't even have febrile convulsions when he was little and had a fever, but there was one episode I remember when he was 5/6 where his temp was 40 c one night and he was sitting bolt upright in bed talking absolute gibberish - something about moving the covers so he could see the boats!!! (just to clarify - there were no boats).

DS has never been under a Paed as he was assessed by CAMHS. GP is pretty certain it wasn't an epileptic seizure though - lets hope he's right as DS wants to start driving lessons later this year!!!

His dad did say that he had a similar episode when he was 19/20 and was carted off to hospital. He has never had another one since and he is 51 quite old now!

The dilemma now is, do I take him for the 2nd MMR jab (this was only his 1st one) in a couple of months time, as recommended?

zzzzz Thu 18-Apr-13 14:39:06

Photo sensitive epilepsy?

BTW, reading back it sounds like all this happened immediately. It didn't. The referral to the paed took 3 months, the ECG took another 6 months etc.

Bigblue, my DS2 who is 13 with ASD and hasn't had his second MMR had a very similar episode in school 18 months ago. He was watching a video in biology when he 'fainted' and shook for about 30 seconds but came around really quickly. No cold, virus or temperature, before or after. He bumped his head quite hard, though. School rang me to pick him up, I called my GP who said to take him to A & E. They checked him over, he was fine, and referred us back to his paed, that we hadn't seen for years. He was checked out in the paediatric epilepsy clinic, had a 24 hour heart ECG but no EEG as the paed said it would probably be abnormal anyway! After 15 months of no recurrence he was discharged from the clinic.

So a completely different level of concern! They think it could have been a hypoxic seizure, but we may never know. Rather concerningly, he fainted getting out of the bath (hot and stuffy bathroom) last week, and was talking nonsense throughout his 'faint.' I rang the epilepsy nurse who spoke to the paed, but they think it was 'just a faint.'

I have been hanging around while he's in the bath, banning tree climbing, road cycling and following him about in swimming pools ever since.

There is a co morbidity with epilepsy and ASD, as in those people with ASD have a greater number with epilepsy that average. If you are still concerned, ignore the GP and take him to A & E.

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