ER visit for wheezing, restricive airway disease

Posted on: Fri, 09/06/2002 - 2:33am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

pScary weekend for us, went to ER, our 19 mo old PA son woke up with a horrible wheeze, never have heard anything like it!!! Had a cold for a couple days, bad cough etc... He was barely getting any air in or out. Of course I thought anaphylaxis, but no other signs of distress, and no way could he have been around any peanuts, he was in his /
It sounded to me like asthma. At the ER they nebulized him twice with abuterol, very little improvement, chest xray showed his lungs were hyperextended into his abdominal cavity (his ribs were visable with each breath and his belly was HUGE!) Got another neb with atrovent and some oral steroid, prednisone. Better but still wheezing. Sent us home 6 hours later with a nebulizer and prescriptions for prednisone and abuterol for the nebulizer. Diagnosis was "Reactive Airway Disease." Has anybody ever had any experience with this? We have asthma in the family(both sides), but not me or my DH or my older son. We're relieved that it wasn't a peanut issue, but don't know anything about RAD. If you have any info I would appreciate it!!! Thanks so much,/p
p------------------br /
Neil's Mom/p
p[This message has been edited by Neil's mom (edited September 06, 2002).]/p

Posted on: Fri, 09/06/2002 - 3:15am
Love my C's picture
Joined: 04/03/2002 - 09:00

Sorry that you all had to go through that horrible experience!
I just attended an asthma/allergy class last night and the Dr. actually referenced how so many pediatricians and Docs diagnose RAD because they are afraid to call it asthma, maybe more so when the child is very young. She said, it is asthma. Her youngest patient is 4 months old! Strong family history there though.
She said an excellent website is [url=""][/url] also there is [url=""][/url]
I'm sure there is lots of info to pour over there. Hope your little guy feels better soon.

Posted on: Fri, 09/06/2002 - 4:42am
ACBaay's picture
Joined: 03/19/2002 - 09:00

So sorry to hear about your weekend. It is really scary when one's child is having trouble breathing. I think that doctors tend to wait to diagnose Asthma until somebody has had RAD a certain number of times(I think 4). When ds was younger that is exactly what would happen on the 3rd or 4th day of a cold. He would start the wheezing and need nebulizer treatments of albuterol. A few times that wasn't enough, and he needed prednisone for a few days. If it seemed like he was beginning to really get worse, we would call the Pediatrician, (usually it was at 2 am), and he would have us start the Prednisone. I think that we avoided the Emergency Room and hospital at least 3 times by doing this before it got really bad. Anyway, he is now 5 1/2, and this hasn't happened in at least 2 years. As kids grow, so does their airways, so a cold may not the same effect. Anyway, be sure to get some extra sleep now that he is feeling better (I remember those nights, watching ds breathing, and hoping it would not get worse.)
Take care,

Posted on: Fri, 09/06/2002 - 4:48am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Syd's been through exactly what you have - 3 times in 9 months (same med's prescribed as you too). RAD & pneumonia episodes were going hand in hand with her for some reason -She's now on:
Flovent (once in the morning, everyday) for prevention of symptoms.
Ventolin (for rescue only when episodes occur - haven't had to use it since the Flovent was prescribed, but we bring it along just like our epi pens). Syd also doesn't cough after running & high exertion anymore(what I felt was exercised induced asthma)
Due to being a youngster with RAD & frequent episodes that lead into pneumonia, her Ped. said to vaccinate her with Prevnar & Mengegate vaccines to help prevent more lung damage that occurs with pneumonia. I'd been against giving her these vaccines, but the Ped. & Ped. allergist said "these vaccines are really critical for high risk kids (high risk for lung damage), and kids with RAD are those high risk kids. I went ahead and grudgenly got the vaccines for her - no adverse reactions and I'm glad I did. Check with your Ped. or Ped. Allergist to see if they feel these vaccines will help your little one. Cheers, KC

Posted on: Fri, 09/06/2002 - 5:24am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks for your feedback, he is doing much better. It happened while we were out of state, and luckily for us, a great hospital was 5 miles away. We were in our cabin in the Maine woods, and knew the way to the ER because we had figured we might need it someday because of the PA. He has had wheezing in the past but it occured with a penicillan reaction, after being diagnosed with an ear infection/upper respiratory bug. I hope we are able to stay out of the asthma ring, but I've heard that PA and asthma are often linked, although I've also heard that there is no link. Thanks for the input!

Posted on: Fri, 09/06/2002 - 12:27pm
SF's picture
Joined: 06/06/2002 - 09:00

Neil's Mom: Sorry to hear about your experience and so glad your son is better! I know how you feel because my PA/asthmatic 4 3/4 year old has been there too many times! It started out as RAD and then the pediatrician and allergist confirmed it is asthma. My son is on Singulair and Zytec daily and these meds have been great for helping with exercise induced asthma (he would always get asthmatic cough when laughing too much or even when running and playing rough in the house). We have a nebulizer and use either Prednisone or Xopenex meds in it as needed for rescue. He also reacts when he has a cold. It often will start out of the blue; one minute he is fine and then all of a sudden he starts to have this asthmatic cough. Many times it starts during the night/early morning hours. I know it is rather scary and now I know what to look for.
Does your son have environmental allergies that you are aware of? Could it be that since you were on vacation out in the woods that something triggered this episode? I know that allergy season has started and I myself am affected by outdoor allergens.
Take care and let us know how things are.

Posted on: Fri, 09/06/2002 - 2:08pm
CVRTBB's picture
Joined: 11/23/2001 - 09:00

Neil's Mom,
I went through the exact same thing with my pa son last weekend! He was diagnosed with asthma at 8 months old (was hospitalized twice before he turned 1). The ER doc did not believe me on how bad he was because he could only hear slight wheezing. I told him if he gave him a breathing treatment again that he would be able to hear it better... well they did and then he could hear the wheezing and crackles from pneumonia. They did a chest x-ray and he had spots of pneumonia near the top of both lungs. They started to give him a breathing treatment with Atrovent but I remembered reading something on here about there being peanut oil in it (and Combivent and Nitroglycerin) so I refused to let them use it. They used the Albuterol instead. (I had been using Xopenex and his albuterol inhaler on him.)
Hope you son is feeling better now! My son is starting to finally. Today was his first day back to school after being off for a week. (He will be 7 in a couple weeks [img][/img] )
Take Care,

Posted on: Tue, 11/12/2002 - 3:55pm
AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis's picture
Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

Our DS is 4 1/4 and he has had 3 episodes of RAD since May 2002 and this third last one did not get better with just albuterol and they suggested pulmicort nebs twice a day and then once a day....wondering what the difference is between pulmicort (inhaled steroid nebulizer) and flovent. is flovent a neb too? he is doing great after 2 days of the stuff.
zyrtec is great.

Posted on: Tue, 11/12/2002 - 8:14pm
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

We went through it with Chris for a long time. He was finally diagnosed as having asthma. DR's do hate to call it asthma to soon. Anyway what I want to tell you is that he has not had any kind of asthma in a long,long time. He is 16 now and when he does have troubles they are nothing like when he was smaller. Hopefully as your little guys body matures he will be a fortunate. take car and good luck claire

Posted on: Tue, 11/12/2002 - 8:22pm
skanb's picture
Joined: 05/24/2001 - 09:00

Sorry to hear you are walking this path too. We have already been dealing with frequent neb treatments for a month here. I get tired of it every winter, but at least this year it didn't start until October instead of August like last year!
To answer your questions, Pulmocort is a nebulized steriod to decrease the swelling in his airways. Flovent is a similar product but in an inhaler. Seravent is a 12 hour bronchodiolator that is taken as an inhaler. Advair is a combination of Flovent and Seravent in a dry powder inhaler. Xopenex is a newer form of Albuterol (bronchodialators), that doesn't produce quite as many "jitters". Atrovent is used often together with Albuterol to help open airways.
About inhalers...many of the "regular" inhalers use a peanut oil in the solution. I *freeked* out when I discovered this since ds is extremely sensitive to the pn protein. I called ds's allergist and talked at length with her. She said the same thing a pharmacist friend said, which is that she has not had any of her pa population (which is extensive) react to the inhalers because there is not any pn protein in them. I know that we did not notice any changes in eczema, asthma, or anything else when we changed from a "regular" inhaler to Advair. It is just easier for ds to use the dry powder inhaler.
Sorry this is so long. As you can tell, asthma is a BIG part of our lives too, and we have an outstanding pedi asthma/allergist who lets me ask as many questions as I have. I have learned a little about all this stuff. HTH Kristi

Posted on: Tue, 11/12/2002 - 10:56pm
smack's picture
Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

Neil's mom,
With meds for asthma it does get better managing colds. It's always the colds that get my guys asthma out of control.
Just a FYI my guys are 5 and it took till my daughter was 4 to finally label her asthmatic and put her on meds. She went through the Pulmicort Nebuamp for bronchial Asthma using a nebule twice a day when she caught a cold when she was 2 - 3 because they have to use a nebulizer when they are small because they can't do the disc one(breathe in hold breath for 10 seconds and rinse and gargle after).
Anyway, it's all a learning process and I learned the my kids were most likely asthmatic after reading all their symptoms here.
Just remember asthmatic children when they are small can't beat a cold like other kids.
They show more signs of croup, pneumonia, bronchitis, and really bad coughs that always seem to come when they get a cold. I use to think why can't my kids just get a normal nose dripping cold? Why is it always a bad cough?
Anyway, all these signs were my guys to a tee and now they are being treated for asthma and so far so good.


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