H1N1 Especially Worrisome For Kids With Asthma

Dr. Paul Nolan
Dr. Paul Nolan
Stephanie Skidmore
Stephanie Skidmore

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Cchildren with asthma are on local doctors' radar because they are at such a high risk for developing the H1N1 flu.

One doctor estimates 20 to 30 percent of children in our area have asthma...making the concern for their health during this extra long flu season especially high.

Seven year old Logan Skidmore has asthma, and his parents have already had one scare.  His mother, Stephanie Skidmore, says, "he's already been sick, having trouble breathing, we took him to the emergency room for having trouble breathing."

Breathing troubles are just one reason one local doctor wants parents to pay special attention to their asthmatic children with the spread of H1N1.

Dr. Paul Nolan, a local pediatrician, says "it can set off a severe asthma exacerbation. Severe enough to put in the hospital. We're seeing in both hospitals in the community a spoke in the number of children with asthma exacerbations."

But it gets worse than that, because Dr. Nolan says, "we're getting a fair number of children in the intensive care unit for management because the exacerbations are so bad they're actually life threatening."

Life threatening because of the pneumonia that can develop with just one flare up....

Which is why the Skidmores wanted to get Logan vaccinated against H1N1 as soon as possible.

Stephanie says, "we were scared because if he got it he would be in pretty bad shape."

Dr. Nolan does not discount the severity of the H1N1 flu hype, saying "I've been thoroughly convinced of the seriousness of this disease, with what I've been seeing here in the hospitals. It's as bad as they've talked about."

Dr. Nolan says the best thing parents can do is look for the classic flu symptoms, and, if they can find it, get the vaccine.