Asthma UK community forum

Blood Tests required for needle phobic 10yr old to control severe asthma

Hi I have written on here before about my daughters asthma. She is on loratadine flixonase nose spray 6 puffs on blue inhaler and 3 on the purple inhaler in the morning 6 puffs of blue again at lunch then again at dinner then 6 puffs of blue 3 puffs of purple and 1 montelukaust and flixonase nose spray at bed but even on all this we are still struggling to make it controlled still ahe has to see the specialist and doctors all the time to have more steroids each month. Now they are saying to me that she may need blood tests to be done to see if there is something triggering her attacks internlly but I have no idea what could be internally triggering it. I understand allergies around which the loratadine is suppossed to for to control but what internally could be causing her to keep having these drops im worried sick I've nerly lost her twice now and lost count of hospital admittances to bring her back up to partial normallity again, by the end of tonight I can see another hospial trip again but she on steroids now so what the hell is happening to my child someone please help me with some sound advice

7 Replies

First they are probably wanting to get an IgE level which is like an overall level for how allergic you might be. However, it is not always accurate some people suffer dreadfully but have low IgE's and others like me have stupidly high ones and are asymptomatic (don't have many symptoms). They can also do RAST tests at the same time for common allergens and they will give you a score out of 100 the higher the score the more allergic and exposed you are basically.

Second we have always adopted an honest approach with everything from vaccinations to blood tests. ""yes it will hurt for a minute but it is only a little hurt for a very short space of time"" type thing. My daughter can't watch me drawing up my drugs with a needle but will have whatever blood tests are needed as she has constant low iron level (the same as her Mum and Gran). Also ask that the blood is taken by paed phlebotomist or the get the Dr at clinic to do it, ask for them to use a blue butterly. They are small and infinitly easier on the veins and the child, don't listen to any nonsense that the blood will clot before it gets into the container or that they don't have any, they will have some and blue butterflies are pretty much all they use at the Brompton on adults to get blood and the phlebotomists there say there is no reason not use them and they are kinder on small veins.

Josh was sent to the adult phelbs last time because he does not have a problem with needles, I asked for a blue butterfly and they said they did not have them. Josh said it was Ok to go ahead with a green needle and vacutainer. You could see it was all he could do not to say stop when they put the needle in then missing the vein she poked about once the needle was in, it was brutal I would not have tolerated that on me and I asked them to stop just as Josh shouted it. Josh is 15 so he uses the same rule I do, we don't flinch and might let out a couple of oh and ow's that is Ok however, if we say ""stop"" we mean it stop and try again elsewhere. It helps Josh feel he has some control over what is happening to him, you could try that with her, we have now told Josh that no-one should be poking around with a green needle and he was brave to put up with it for so long. He had tears rolling down his cheeks bless him, but tried to carry on because he knows how important his blood tests are. In the end we back to his consultant who was horrified and she took his blood with a blue butterly. Josh said he will always make sure they use a blue butterfly and the GP kindly give me a couple to take with us to clinic so there is no excuse in future. The consultant said they do have them up at the pleb bit they just cost a lot more and it takes a bit longer don't be afraid to push next time. You can also ask for emla or magic cream to numb the area it has to be on for 60 minutes I think, Josh had it once but in the end decided he prefered the ""if I say stop"" method which we have been using for the past 4 years.

I hope this makes some sense and helps



Hi there sorry to hear your daughter is struggling with her asthma at the moment. As far as blood tests go alot can be done for needlephobic children. Firstly children should be offered a local anaesthetic cream such as ametop or emla cream which needs to be left on for half an hour at least for bloods and an hour for cannulation. As Bex says ask for someone who is used to taking bloods from children, alot of paediatric nurses do them now adays. If i have a needlephobic child i will ask a play specialist to assist as they are specially trained in distraction techniques. Not sure where she will have her bloods done but if its a hospital maybe have a word with the doctor/ nurse before hand about your concerns. If its the GP'S surgery the practice nurses are adult trained but most are used to taking bloods from children. Goodluck with your daughter.



sorry to hear you daughter is suffering bad

i thought seeing as im a needle phobic (big time)i would advise you on what i would do , or what i usually do

basically really reinforce (keep repeating) to who ever does the test before they start, that your daughter is a needle phobic and what the others have told you ,and it should be ok as most people are trained or have experience of treating needle phobics .

good luck xx


Thanks for al the advice

Hi thanks for all the advice you hve all offered im going to see the specialist this friday coming to discuss the matter again to get it sorted as we were in hospital again this week and we need to know what it is that is triggering these attacks as she is getting very down now about it all. Once again thankyou all very much for your help xxx


Hi Shelly,

just a thought, but when she is admitted does she need IV's? If so, perhaps they could take bloods when the cannula is in.


Needle Phobia.

Hi there,

my daughter developed a dreadful needle phobia aa a result of the number of hospital and ICU admissions she has had. My daughter was a severe unclassified brittle asthmatic. She was hospitalised abou 120 times over an 8 year period and ventilated about half of these admissions in ICU. As a result of the number of venepunctures she had on these admissions she developed a terrible needle phobia and it caused mega problems for all concerned. It became so bad that she had a Hickman line inserted ( it's often used for chemotherapy ) and it solved a lot of the problems we had. I found that the hospital staff were very unhelpful to both myself and my daughter so I'd advise anyone to fight every inch of the way.

Sadly my daughter died as a result of her asthma so please don't take any chances life is too precious,


I have worked with children and there a number of things that be can be done.... There is a cream called anatop (spelling not sure about) that is numbing also called magic cream (used more for regular bloods than in emergency due to time etc) they can also be given enternox which is laughing gas which is a very mild anasethic and allows the child to relax. Also play theapists are great at distraction with younger ones1


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