Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

2 yr old w/ Asthma

Posted In: Medical Errors 1 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • April 25, 2009
  • 07:58 AM

In March 2008 at 18 mos old my son was hospitalized w/ RSV and pneumonia. We spent 6 days in the hospital and 5 of which on oxygen. He was sent home after he made it through 24 hrs off of the oxygen. All seemed fine.

October he came down w/ a normal cold/fever. Within 2 hours we had to rush him to the ER as he was very drowsy and unable to stay away and I could tell that he was breathing funny like he had just months before in March. His stomach was working extra hard to breath. We arrived at the docs office and he o2 stats were 82. A few breathing treatments, oxygen and a dose of steriods and he was fine to go home.

Xmas eve he was running and playing and perfectly fine. He again had a slight cold/runny nose that day and back to the ER we were. His stats were at 76 this time. Again with the breathing treaments, steriods, chest xray and oxygen. Found out he had bronchiolitis.

March 2009 I woke up to my son breathing very hard again, gave him his treatments at home and continued to do so throughout the day. He wasn't getting any better and I took him to the docs office where by this time he had become unresponsive. Again with the breathing treatments, oxygen, a shot of steriods and still, nothing. We were rushed by ambulance to the hospital where they kept him 3 days. We have a wonderful doctor and all along she's had the idea that he has asthma, sent us to the allergist, etc. She's been very on top of his condition and set us up to see the pulminologist.

After seeing the specialist we were sent home w/ oxygen tanks and an pulsox. Because my son does not have the 'normal' asthma triggers or signs he crashes very fast. I was wondering if anyone else had a similar story or could this be something else and not asthma at all. The only time he has ever had an attack is when he is sick with a cold, runny nose or a cough. Once he has any of these symptoms it's usually that evening that he is unable to breath. I have no idea what is going on. We are being sent for a CT scan so I'm hoping that will shed some light.

Thanks for your help and suggestions.

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  • In March 2008 at 18 mos old my son was hospitalized w/ RSV and pneumonia. We spent 6 days in the hospital and 5 of which on oxygen. He was sent home after he made it through 24 hrs off of the oxygen. All seemed fine.October he came down w/ a normal cold/fever. Within 2 hours we had to rush him to the ER as he was very drowsy and unable to stay away and I could tell that he was breathing funny like he had just months before in March. His stomach was working extra hard to breath. We arrived at the docs office and he o2 stats were 82. A few breathing treatments, oxygen and a dose of steriods and he was fine to go home. Xmas eve he was running and playing and perfectly fine. He again had a slight cold/runny nose that day and back to the ER we were. His stats were at 76 this time. Again with the breathing treaments, steriods, chest xray and oxygen. Found out he had bronchiolitis.March 2009 I woke up to my son breathing very hard again, gave him his treatments at home and continued to do so throughout the day. He wasn't getting any better and I took him to the docs office where by this time he had become unresponsive. Again with the breathing treatments, oxygen, a shot of steriods and still, nothing. We were rushed by ambulance to the hospital where they kept him 3 days. We have a wonderful doctor and all along she's had the idea that he has asthma, sent us to the allergist, etc. She's been very on top of his condition and set us up to see the pulminologist.After seeing the specialist we were sent home w/ oxygen tanks and an pulsox. Because my son does not have the 'normal' asthma triggers or signs he crashes very fast. I was wondering if anyone else had a similar story or could this be something else and not asthma at all. The only time he has ever had an attack is when he is sick with a cold, runny nose or a cough. Once he has any of these symptoms it's usually that evening that he is unable to breath. I have no idea what is going on. We are being sent for a CT scan so I'm hoping that will shed some light.Thanks for your help and suggestions.Hi Ann-Marie,An acute asthma attack in a very young child is a very frightening thing. My sympathies for the gray hair you must have "suddenly" sprouted, Mom!Actually, you son DOES have one of the most common athma "triggers" for kids under age six...upper respiratory infection (URI). His acute asthma attacks are occurring in response to inflammation/infection in his upper respiratory tract...not an unusual scenario at all. If I was a wagering man, I'd wager that his chest CT results will be completely within normal limits.So, how can you best deal with the situation at hand?• Of some comfort is the fact that kids with this type of "secondary reactive" asthma very frequently grow out of it. Often just the maturing of the immune system is all th elong-term medicine they need.• For now though...think proactively. Make sure your son has a well-balanced diet AND a daily multi-vit to maximize optimal health/disease resistance. Keep abreast of all routine Pediatric appointments and immunizations...don't be reluctant to have him receive the flu vaccine in season...he's a boy who can DEFINITELY use it. Minimize his possible exposure to people with URI S & S...including avoiding/minimizing exposure to: family members...daycare, if applicable (a veritable nest of URI kids! LOL), and trips to malls, grocery stores, etc.• Considering that your son's asthma seems to exacerbate ONLY when he's experiencing URI S&S, I'd be VERY reluctant to agree to any daily asthma "maintenance" meds. In my opinion, he just doesn't have sufficient reason to need them considering the cons of potential side effects. That said, I'd definitely ask your Pediatrician if you should have an "as needed rescue inhaler" on hand for those inevitable acute exacerbations. The active ingredient in a rescue inhaler is generally albuterol or Ventolin (current rescue inhalers frequently go by the name "ProAir HFA"). Albuterol is a bronchodilator which means it works to open up airways that are being constricted by an acute asthma attack. Many asthma sufferers that I know carry rescue inhalers with them at all times...and frequently don't need the ER for every single episode of asthma.In the meantime, if your son has an acute episode...and you don't have a rescue inhaler available...kick your shower on high and hot. Stand in the bathroom and let him inhale the warm, steamy air...it usually helps a lot.Hopefully, as your son grows you'll see his acute asthma episodes steadily decrease over the next several years.Best regards,John<
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