Congested baby-HELP!

MarionRFebruary 24, 2002

My six week old grandaughter Anna has been extremely congested for the past four weeks. She has been to the doctor twice and they say her lungs are clear but she has gotten a lot worse in the past few days. She can hardly breathe and you can feel it in her chest when she tries. She is also opening her mouth up wide as if she is gagging. Also she is haiving trouble with her bottle since it is hard for her to breathe when its in her mouth. We have tried everything , like steam in the bathroom, nasal spray and bulb syringe, a cool mist humidifier in her room... but nothing is working.She is now also coughing more and drooling more if that means anything. Anyways if any of you have or are experiencing this let me know if it got better, and what you did to soothe your baby.



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If your seriously concerned and this baby is only 6 weeks old, go to another doctor or the ER and get another opionion. It doesn't sound like she's just got a simple cold and anyway, colds are hard for babies that young. I don't want to worry you but I hear so many things these days about people going to the doctor and the doctor recently my nephew was to the doctors 3 times one week and the doctor kept saying he just had a virus~ no big deal. Well they finally got another doctor to look and he may have started out with a virus but it developed into two really bad ear infections and sinus infection. There are several much more serious instances I have heard about also. So if you're not feeling comfortable about the doctors prognosis, go somewhere else so you can feel better.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2002 at 11:35AM
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It doesn't matter if the doctor thinks the lungs are clear. Something is not functioning correctly. I would suspect allergies of some sort blocking her nose and sinuses. this would make her cough in an effort to get air in and out of her lungs.

I think it's time to see another doctor. Take her to the emergency room if you can't get in to see someone soon.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2002 at 10:27PM
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My DD is 4. In her 4 years, there have been several times I did not feel a doctor gave her enough of an examination, or that they were sending me off on a wild goose chase. I have, several times,gotten in my car and headed straight for an urgent care center.

In one case, found out DD had severe seasonal allergies and needed specific treatment. Voila, she was better the next day after getting treatment. (they were shocked the other doctor had not suggested the treatment).

In the other case, what my doctor had 'diagnosed' as excema (told me to use lotion), was actually a bad food allergy, and when I got home, she swelled up and couldn't breathe. Went to the urgent center, who gave her the benadryl she needed, and set us on the right detective path to find out what she was allergic to.

This time of year, docs are swamped with upper respiratory colds and other illnesses, and they get busy. They might not pay enough attention. You are the only advocate your child has sometimes. Go for the second opinion!!

(by the way, I now have a new PCP - I got tired of wild goose chases)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2002 at 8:19AM
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At this young of an age, what you are describing is nothing to take lightly. I would take baby to the ER to get checked out. This is prime RSV season, and a baby that age is an ideal candidate for it. RSV can be very serious if left untreated. It would be better to err on the side of caution, just to ensure baby really is ok.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2002 at 9:24AM
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Having trouble breathing is serious no matter what a person's age. It's even more problematic with an infant because adults have to make healthcare decisions on their behalf and in their best interests.

The past doesn't matter if the baby now has congestion to the point that they are struggling to breathe. It could be 'anything' but a diagnosis doesn't matter as much as getting help so that the baby can breathe more easily and normally.

Later, with the doctors who have been working with the adults involved it would be more appropriate to worry about the past details. At that time, it can be helpful to figure out what the problem was and whether it is something that can happen again and most importantly how to act if it does in order to prevent breathing problems. Before that time, if the baby is having a tough time breathing they need immediate help with that symptom before they need anything else.

...It's not always easy or natural to be pushy in a businesslike way to get more serious medical attention for anyone. Usually health problems are 'minor' or otherwise not lifethreatening so there can be a long wait at an ER or for a doctor's appointment. Focusing on the problem symptom which is that there is a (say how old) baby who is struggling hard to breathe and who seems to be congested might help. Struggling to breathe can be a lifethreatening situation so it's important to get medical advice.

-if her mother is very stressed and very worried it might help to have someone go with her (and her baby) to be pushy or more communicative with the staff at any ER or doctor's office (it's probably more than enough for the mother to be taking immediate care of the baby and to be both worried and stressed)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2002 at 5:46PM
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Update us on the little one when you get a chance.

Best wishes!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2002 at 7:53AM
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well all i can say now is i took her to the doctor and they said it might be reflux? or something wrong with her trachia? i dont know. But they did set up a swallow test at the hospital on march 12th to see what happens when she is drinking her bottle. ill let you know what i find out. thankyou all for you r postings. they helped a lot.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2002 at 2:23PM
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That still sounds weird. I can understand if the baby was just having problems breathing when taking a bottle but you said it's almost all the time.

Something just doesn't set right with me. What scares me is that my fiance' knows a couple who lost a baby because the hospital sent him home and didnt' monitor him long enough. When the parents kept calling because the baby was having problems breathing, the only suggestion they got was to buy an air conditioner because it was summer and the doctor thought the humidity was causing him to have problems breathing. They bought the air conditioner and still no change. The doctor said to give it time. Well, he died. When they did the autopsy it turned out the doctors were wrong on her due date and the baby was premature and it's lungs were not fully developed.

Breathing problems are not something to mess with, as amygdala kind of said. I don't know her background but she seems to be in the medical field somehow because she does know a lot.

Good luck to the little one.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2002 at 7:45AM
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We took my granddaughter for tests today and the outcome is that she has acid reflux disease. I have this too so I know how she must feel. Apparently, the breathing problems we assumed she was having was just the noise from the problems with acid reflux. My dd will need to go to the hospital for help in learning how to deal with the baby. Also, she will be given a special thing for the crib so finally Anna will be able to sleep in her crib. She has only slept in her car seat because she would scream in pain when put on her back in the crib. They will prescribe medicine for her to take once a day for at least 6 months. Hopefully, she will outgrow this but it will take at least a month for her to feel better. They said that if we hadn't had her tested, she would eventually be a very picky eater. My dd (her mother) never slept through a night as a baby for about 3 years. We had even taken her to a sleep disorder clinic (they found nothing wrong). She has always been an extremely picky eater so it makes me wonder if she had this as a baby as well.

After this experience, I don't think anyone should ever just assume colic is the cause of crying without having the baby checked for other problems.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2002 at 5:36PM
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Oh Marion! Thanks for the update. I've been a little worried. I'm so glad they persisted and got the right tests done. Now she will be on the road to recovery.

You are right. Always go with instinct! So glad to hear the little one will be getting better soon!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2002 at 8:00AM
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Thanks for the update Marion. Glad to hear they know what to do to treat the little doll!!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2002 at 10:19AM
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You guys are incredibly inconsiderate and pompous when it comes to doctors. Don't forget that these are the only human beings who swear an oath to uphold your health above all else (even their own!). Even presidents, priests, and soldiers don't have to do that. Their opinions come from years of hard training and grueling, sleepless, thankless apprenticeships. Telling someone to simply discard a doctors opinion when it doesn't solve your problem in five seconds is irresponsible at best, and almost criminally stupid at worst. Doctors aren't just another piece of machinery. They're humans who make mistakes, like you do. Assuming that a "good" doctor just automatically understands and diagnoses your problems is absurd. Most patients don't realize that most of the time, the problems in diagnoses stem from an inability of the patient to understand the problems at hand, or communicate them in a non-hysterical, quasi-scientific manner. Doctors have to constantly overcome all sorts of ridiculous superstitions and religions, and a legal environment that makes their mistakes the most costly in the world. Nothing is wrong with getting a second opinion. In fact, most good doctors have no problem with it whatsoever. It is amazingly annoying though, to have to put up with this attitude most Americans have, where they expect a correct medical diagnosis to occur with the same regularity and predictability of an oil change, or a gas station pump. As the non-medical son and husband of doctors, I can tell you firsthand that overwhelmingly, the problems with most misdiagnoses have more to do with the patients than the doctor. This becomes obvious when one travels, and one suddenly discovers countries where patients aren't raised to treat doctors the way they treat the guy in the drive-thru window at Burger King. "Give me this! Give me that! And give it to me in 45 seconds with a smile, etc...

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 1:47AM
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I don't think anyone is suggesting the doctor should fix the problem in "five seconds", but to assume the doctor is God and infallible is equally wrong- as you say, they are human beings who make mistakes. If the problem is ongoing (as this one is) and after several vists the doctor is telling you there's no problem, I think it entirely justified to consult another doctor. My grandmother died of bowel cancer after her doctor reassured her several times until it was too late, that she just had haemorrhoids. Ladies, trust your instincts.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 3:53AM
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I disagree, partially. You should only trust your instinct when science hasn't provided an answer for a while. Instinct is a decent "backup". Science is essentially instinct, backed up with evidence. "Trust your instincts" is basically a nice way of saying "go with your gut". I think that's a crazy way to poke your way through the darkness when you're dealing with a child who looks like they can't breathe. I just spent a sleepless night worrying about my boy's ragged, irregular breathing, and snotty coughing interfering with his feeding. I was scared, nervous, and didn't really ever feel like I was doing exactly the right thing. But frankly, that's just tough for me. I pulled an all-nighter of fear so that my wife, a doctor, could finally get some regular sleep. She woke up, walked into the bedroom, and basically diagnosed the problem as a non-problem in minutes with an aspirator, warm water, and a minute or two at the breast. As a parent, you just have to accept a certain amount of uncertainty, and the notion that some problems don't have obvious, immediate solutions. My boy's a premie, so nobody's more scared of the sniffles or apnea than I am. But MAN, I was amazed the way some of the other parents treated those poor nurses in the NICU. I'm not calling doctors infallible. I think we're just going through a cultural swing from one ridiculous extreme to the other. Fifty years ago doctors could do no wrong. In movies and books they were treated like demi-gods who could talk to anyone like they were illiterate peasants. Now the opposite absurdity is coming into effect. Now, in our hyper-commodified society, where everything has a price, we treat doctors like we treat a waiter at a cheap cafe. Like some pack animal that's there to suit our every whim, immediately. I've also noticed that, with our criminally inefficient health care system for the rich, we tend to take that frustration out on the nurses and doctors who are basically just the public "face" of our system. Parenting, though, is still the same, more or less. It's nervewracking, and makes you feel sometimes like you're just sitting there watching someone asphyxiate. But you're not (mostly). And thank God we don't just "trust our instincts". If we did, we'd still be burning women at stakes for "witchery" and bleeding people when they sneezed too loud at parties.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 12:39PM
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did you two notice this post is over SIX years old?
get a life!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 12:17PM
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organic_fernando...swear an oath to uphold your health above all else.... ..................please! many of my best friends are doctors and the oath they swear is to make as much money as possible, patients are mere cattle and paycheques, gone are the old days when they actually cared, I say get a 2nd and 3rd opinion ALWAYS!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 7:46AM
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Wow thats quite frightening but possibly true,I have to say i nearly always walk out of the doctors saying what a waste of time goin to see them was ,i agree if its serious get second and third opinion

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 11:08AM
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