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Harrison's Sulchus

Leo has developed a 'dip' in his sternum lately, like a hollow in the middle at the top of the 'v' shape of the rib age. The consultant looked at it at his appointment and pointed out that he has slight ridges on both sides under his bottom ribs (it is hard for me to tell because he is quite skinny but I can clearly see the hollow in his chest). He said this is a sign of the severity of his asthma and suggests that he is working too hard to breathe too often.

Things like this really put into perspective how scary asthma is and how it can affect the body in so many different ways. He sent Leo for an x-ray because of this dip (called a Harrison's Sulchus apparently) but thankfully his chest was clear.

We have a nebuliser at home for Leo and a pulse oximeters to check his SATS but the consultants words have made me realise that when he is having an asthma attack it is far safer just to take him straight to the ward rather than to try and play God at home.

Leo's skin also always flares up a day or two before an asthma attack, it goes all spotty and rough like sandpaper. I noticed a few spots today so I'm hoping it's not the start of another episode...

On another note, last week when getting out him out of the bath I discovered that his feet and ankles were covered in urticaria (large red raised ring-like patches, yellowish in the middle). I checked his SATS and his oxygen levels were at 91 so I've was obviously having an allergic reaction to something but can't figure out what. Everything in his bath was the same and he hadn't eaten anything different. The last time he had this rash was when he had an allergic reaction to penicillin, although that was all over his body. We kept a close eye on him and after 24 hours it had nearly all gone and he seemed fine in himself, if a little short of breath when playing. I have no idea what could have caused this?

Sorry, I have started to waffle slightly, these children with asthma do give us a lot to talk about don't they?!

Rebecca x

3 Replies

Hi Rebecca

My son Fraser was diagnosed with HS when he was about 4 years old. It looked very obvious for several years, he is 9 now and his asthma is finally under control. Dare I say we haven't had a hospital admission in almost 2years ( previously we were constantly in and out).

During the last couple of years the HS has improved so much that it is hardly notiicable, hopefully this will also be the story for your little one. Fraser goes blotchy on his face when he is going downhill also, its like lots of broken blood vessels all over his cheeks.

As you say its frightening what asthma can so to their little bodies, I think the kids generally bounce back pretty quick whilst the mums and dads are left shell shocked and worried!

Hope things improve for your son and you.

Clare Xx


Sorry to hear that the last appointment unnerved you.

Regarding the urticaria on Leo's legs: could it have been from the heat of the bath? I think I saw once that that is possible, although I have no experience myself.

Good luck!


Clarebear, Leo also has lots. Little broken veins, particularly on his left cheek. This Lokks totally different to the urticaria he got on his feet and ankles though. I only recognised it as urticaria from when he had it before, it in as a very specific appearance and look quite scary!

He,so had plenty of baths since and luckily no sign of it again so I guess we will never know what caused it!!


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