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Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum, and I have a few questions. My DD is 6 years old and recently diagnosed with asthma. She just started kindergarten, and is frequently sick with colds, coughs and all the fun things associated with sick kids. Every time she gets sick, she complains of shortness of breath, pain in her chest, and difficulty breathing. She is on Qvar 80 tiwce a day and Ventolin as needed. Her peak flow reading this morning was 80 (reader barely moved) and her pulse-ox was 92%. This morning it came up to 98%. While she sleeps, she is breathing fast and shallow. I find myself awake all night checking her, not sure what to do, if anything. Are there any tell take signs to look for to know when she needs to go to the ER. Every time I go , they look at me like I over-reacted! Thanks for any feedback!

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  • Kathy P

    Welcome. That sounds very stressful.

    Has her doc given you an action plan that breaks down peak flow zines and what to do in each if those?

    I know it's a holiday weekend, but I'd give her on-call doc a call for advice or head to urgent care if O2 SATs are going that low.

  • momwifecop

    Hi…thank you for the response! The doctor did not give us an action plan. I printed one up today, and called the office, but they were closed. I think I'm going to call the on-call doctor for clarification. Being new to this is stressful! 

  • Kathy P

    Have you talked to the doc yet? It's hard over a holiday weekend. How are you doing today?

  • Melanie Carver

    Hi MomWifeCop,

    I hope things are going well today. Here is a list of symptoms that are serious:

    Seek medical help immediately for:

    • Fast breathing with chest retractions (skin sucks in between or around the chest plate and/or rib bones when inhaling)
    • Cyanosis (very pale or blue coloring in the face, lips, fingernails)
    • Rapid movement of nostrils
    • Ribs or stomach moving in and out deeply and rapidly
    • Expanded chest that does not deflate when you exhale
    • Infants with asthma who fail to respond to or recognize parents

    More information about asthma symptoms:

    We have an asthma action plan you can download:

    Here's one for school:   Does she have an asthma care plan on file at school? This is a plan that is created with the school nurse and your physician so that the school is aware of how to care for her.

    Let us know if you have any questions!

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Momwifecop! Take it from me, if you're in doubt, call the doctor! I still remember the one time I DIDN'T call my DD's pediatrician and waited until Monday morning to take her in … my usual laid-back doc reamed me out!  Luckily, everything worked out, but after that, I never minded giving him a call even if it was after hours.

    And the first few days and weeks after a diagnosis IS really scary. You're finding your way through a new landscape, so of course things will feel on a hair trigger for awhile.

    As for ER docs … keep in mind that they grade on a curve. They see everything from the common cold to victims of automobile accidents, and they can seem blasé to us. But YOU know your kiddo the best, and YOU are the expert in your Kiddo's usual health and well-being. So if something seems off, trust your gut and don't mind a tired and cranky ER doc. 

    Still, one way to avoid the ER altogether is to try to get better and more clear answers from your kiddo's doctor to begin with. I heartily agree with everything written above as far as advice. 

    I'll just add a couple of things that have helped me better communicate with my DD's doctors:

    • keeping a journal or log of her symptoms — the time, date, what happened, what she was doing just prior to her current issue, what I did and how quickly things resolved. Doctors tend to believe you and take you more seriously when you have made the effort to keep proper documentation. Also, they can see patterns that may help them help her.
    • writing down THREE questions and/or goals for the office visit, from priority one to priority three. That helps keep the focus on your most important questions — a must when you think of how quickly patients must be seen by most doctors!

    Also, make use of your doctor's nurse — a good nurse can be a Godsend and really help triage your concerns. Sometimes they have pre-printed educational materials that they can pop into the mail for you; sometimes they can answer questions about when or if you should come in. Not all nurses are that helpful, but many of them are. 

    Keep us posted! I do hope things get better soon.

  • Jen

    Hi MomWifeCop – how are things going?  Have you received any clarification from the doctor?

  • Kathy P

    How did the summer go MomWifeCop? Are you gearing up for school starting? Have you checked in w/ the doc to make sure you have all of the ?

  • Jen

    @momwifecop - checking in to see how things are going. Stop in to update when you get a chance.