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Please help, 2 year old admitted to hospital 3x in 3 weeks with asthma attack

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Hello! My 2 year old son had his first ever episode 3 weeks ago triggered by pneumonia. Since then he had 3 different antibiotics to clear it , 4 lots of oral steroids (Max gap in between taking them 10 days) and only 3 days without taking salbutamol every 4 h ( 4,6, 10 pumps depending on the days) first 2 attacks were triggered by chest infection , third one by a regular cold (only took 2 days from runny nose to 10 pumps every h and hospitalisation. He wasn't diagnosed with astma officially, got given clenil modulite 50 mg twice a day 8 days ago) we got discharged home yesterday after 2 night stay without any change in medication. After me having a meltdown in hospital they did X-Ray on his chest but failed to tell me about results. We have been told to see go regularly (we've seen gp 2x every week anyway since it started! ) twice gp rang ambulance as his stats were poor ( especially oxygen levels! He was turning blue on one occasion ) in hospital they treat me as overprotective mother making a fuss over nothing. I've been told by a consultant that in very rare occasions they refer to a specialist and if he is back with another attack soon they won't do anything different. Is it really nothing else I can do? Any advice will be appreciated as I'm on my wits ends πŸ˜” Thank you

11 Replies

I wanted to add both me and my mum have allergies and eczema, my older son is allergic to dust ( so I already keep it at bay) and 2 year old allergic to penicillin. When I asked about allergy testing they looked at me like I've said something stupid. also I've been told he is to young to diagnose him with asthma but in the same sentence that he will have to take the brown inhaler till spring maybe all year around. Doctor in hospital said its normal and seasonal but surely struggling for oxygen isn't normal? I asked if he would benefit from increasing the brown inhaler instead keep being prescribed steroids tablets so often, and answer was No need πŸ˜”


Can your GP refer you to a specialist without having to go through the hospital? Twice sending him by ambulance to the hospital seems that the GP realises the seriousness of the situation. My advice is to definitely continue being an overprotective mother. You know him and the hospital doctors need to listen to you. Keep strong. Keep a good eye on him. From my own experiences with pneumonia and severe chest infections, all I can tell you is keep the room he is in warm. It helps to breathe in warm air - not cold - but also keep an eye on his temperature. You don't want him overheating. Too much Vitamin A is dangerous as it is fat soluble and stays in the body. Too much can cause severe nerve damage and, if pregnant, can damage the foetus. However, Vitamins A and C are very good for infections and Vitamin A is particularly good for chest infections. Check with a naturopath or your local chemist as to the dosage for a 2 year old. In Japan there has been research to show that some people with Asthma have low levels of Vitamin A. If you Google "Vitamin C, Swine flu and New Zealand", you should be able to view a news item which gives you more info on how Vitamin C can help with a severe chest infection. Wishing you and your son all the best.


How ae things now?

Yes I'm in uk, sorry it took me so long to answer

Izah in reply to Izah

South Wales to be precise

Thank you all, after lots of feet stumping we finally found a doctor which seems to understand what's happening. At the moment reliever seems to finally working and he is not wheezing for the first time in 2 months. We got referred to allergy and respiratory clinic. Also he's got in appointment in the hospital ( in 6 weeks) for further check up. gp flaged his case up and he gets seen straight away without waiting for appointment. He got diagnosed with asthma now, and got written asthma plan which is clearly stating I wasn't overprotective mum πŸ™„ Each time he was taken to hospital his asthma attack was already life threatening! Gp suggested that I check his respiratory and heart pulse regularly as he gets bad really quickly. It's been almost a week now his stats are good and although I know we are not out of the woods yet I feel much more informed and calmer. Just still puzzled how they can send you home without taking time to explain you how to manage asthma, what symptoms to look out for instead making you feel guilty when your child clearly needs help? Asthma is a dangerous illness, education is the key!

I'm in South Wales good 5 h drive to London. Thanks to nhs cuts closest hospital is 40 minutes away, after 10 pm 1,5 drive before I reach any help for my little one

I'm glad that there's been a recognition that you aren't being overprotective, just appropriately protective! I think anyone who has had to deal with very young asthmatics has run into this & (albeit back in the Stone Age) I was a victim of it. It has haunted me all my life, so you are right to stay focused, keep pointing out what is happening & keep going back if you don't think his breathing is right.

I also think they are being very unfair in the way they are presenting the brown inhaler; I disagree fundamentally with the premise that you can't diagnose asthma under 5 years old especially where there is family history & a child is clearly struggling for breath. Effective treatment NOW can dramatically reduce the severity of his asthma later.

Ideally the plan is to get him to a point where he takes the minimum medication necessary to live a full & active life (& longer-term avoid the kind of damage inside his lungs that would cause him trouble in 50 or so years time).

Keep fighting for him.

Izah in reply to Minushabens

I totally agree with you! Especially on the minimum medication and no complications further in life bit! Also what puzzles me asthma isn't a rare condition, but they way we were treated is as the doctors don't have a clue ( had to google it 😁😳) and hospitals don't give you any advice as to handle future episodes. I was given an inhaler ( ok they showed me how to use it) but no advice as when and how much, or bring your child in when you see or that... Just 'he is fine to go home'. It was the most stressful month of my life, and seeing my 2 year old pinned in by 3 adults so they can give him needed meds to keep him alive will stay with me for life.

Minushabens in reply to Izah

One of the best bits of advice I ever received (actually it's sort of two bits) is to remember that most respiratory doctors don't have breathing problems so don't always appreciate how frightening it is. Also good doctors might know how to treat an illness but not always how to treat a patient!

Anyway, first of all I understand how traumatic it is to see a small child having asthma drugs administered. I remember my son as a baby going beserk while they tried to give him oxygen...but (assuming they are making the right call) try to think that they are only doing what he need to have done but is too young to realise he needs.

In terms of showing you how to use it though, that isn't good. If you have someone like a Senior Nurse Practitioner or an asthma nurse at your local surgery then you can do a lot worse than trying to get to know them. They can take time to teach you how to use it all correctly; alternatively some pharmacists will take the time as well.

Hope that helps anyway.


Thank you John! I had a great nurse on one of my sons stays and she took all her time to teach how to use it and I'm very strict about it ( when I've seen how the nurse gave him salbutamol last time I insisted I'll do it myself as i could almost see no point when face mask wasn't properly on his face πŸ˜†πŸ™Š) I don't think there is an asthma nurse in rural Wales where we are. As the advice about the doctors not being able to yreat the patient I've learn which gp's to avoid ( one sent my son home twice despite his oxygen level being 82, 84) and neubilaser lasting max 20 min. I've walked out of consultation in hospital once (in tears) as I felt like we going round in circles. She said he is fine, I said he is currently on high dose of steroids so wait till they get out of his system before you send him home... ( once they did wear off we were still giving him ventolin 10x1h and stayed in hospital for another 24h till he could handle 4h stretch) the nurse sent for someone else to check his temperature I had to say several times I don't hold grudges against the doctor, just don't agree with her diagnosis πŸ˜‚ I didn't know much about asthma then , I'm still learning. I did push only going with my gut instinct πŸ™ŠπŸ˜³ I found a great gp who doesn't rush me ( she recommended this page and patient. which are both great ) she also wrote an action plan for my little man ( as generic staff they have is based on peak flow which he is to small for) prevention of future episodes is my aim ( like everyone's else with asthma! 😊)

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