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Why do my 14 month old son's feet, hands and lips turn purple??

I have been taking my son to the doctor for the last three weeks because he is having symptoms of poor circulation but it continues to get worse. (started with only his feet and now is hands and lips also turn a dark purple) My doctor is ordering a pediatric echocardiagram to test his heart, but has no idea why this happens. It normally occurs when he is inactive; in highchair, napping or in car seat.

I'm just curious if this has happened to anyone else. I had to take him to the ER tonight because his feet were purple (like barney purple/gray) for two hours. They did blood tests that came back normal, but said that I would have to wait for the echo to get any final answers.

I am frustrated! Please help!

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Asked by katrina311 at 10:49 PM on Jan. 27, 2010 in Kids' Health

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Answers (10)
  • Could he be cold? My DD turns a little purple when she gets cold, and it is easier for her to get cold than it is for the rest of us.

    Answer by truealaskanmom at 10:55 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • No, he isn't cold. His feet and hands do not feel cold when they are purple. That was the first thought when he started having the symptoms 3 weeks ago, so we would give him warm baths, dressed him in layers and kept our furnace at 73. But it still happens. Tonight the doctor was even surprised that his feet were actually warm but still purple.

    I am lost and just need any ideas. I was hoping someone else has already been through this.

    Answer by katrina311 at 11:05 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • I'm in the same boat as you only it started around my sons lips, then his lips, then hands and feet, and now even his tongue will turn blue and purple. He has had an echo and an x-ray and all sorts of blood work yet we have NO IDEA why this is happening! DO they take his pulse ox? Is he getting enough oxygen? My sons pulse ox is always normal when this happens, but we are going to his pulmonologist (lung doctor) for it tomorrow b/c I can't keep freaking out and crying every damn day watching my son go through this. It's been 7 months since this started for my son.

    Answer by chelleybeans at 12:03 AM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • There's a circulatory/immune disorder called Reynald's syndrome. The genetic variation is more common in women, but sometimes men get it too. I recommend you see a pediatric immunologist or a rheumatologist.


    Answer by Busimommi at 12:27 AM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • Oh man, I can't help, but I hope and pray for the best. What "busimommi" said sounds good too!

    Answer by Starfire73 at 12:57 AM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • Maybe his clothes are too tight? I know that used to happen to my daughter sometimes, I started buying a size bigger.

    Answer by BaisMom at 1:44 AM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • As a mom with a heart condition, with 4 kids who have echos done regularly to monitor whether or not they develop it, I can tell you an echo is very easy to get through. It also sounds like it is due to a heart issue, sorry to say - but some of them are very easily fixed. Ask if you can have the echo done ASAP. Mine are always done by techs then read by the cardiologists, except for the one I had when I was pregnant and the cardio wanted to sit in on it because she'd never seen a pregnant woman with my condition. GL momma!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:36 PM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • I had tried buying looser bigger socks, but that doesn't help, even without them on his feet turn purple... Also, that doesn't explain the change in his lips and hands. Thank you for the attempt though.

    My doctor ruled out Reynald's syndrom because he doesnt' turn red and white as well. That was their first attempt at a diagnosis. Again, thanks for the attempt.

    For Anonymouse that has had children go through an echo- Did they ever sedate your children? My dr said that they may have to sedate him so they can get a good picture. I'm worried about his reaction to anesthesia.

    I have a lot of worries, but thank you to all who responded. I am nervous and just needed advice and thought that it wouldn't hurt to post something on here to see if someone else has had similar issues.

    Answer by katrina311 at 4:44 PM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • We have not had this but i really hope you find some answers I know I would be freaked. I can tell you my DD did have to be sadated for her surgery. The gave her some meds to make he sleepy. Then they took her and whne they finished the surgery I went and sat with her till she woke up. She was good to go after that.

    Answer by IMAMOM2-2KIDS at 2:29 AM on Jan. 29, 2010

  • My son is 19 months old and was born with 3 heart defects that were corrected with open heart surgery at 8 days old. He's also undergone 3 sedated echoes at check ups at the cardiologist. The sedation didnt bother me too much, or him, but all children are different. Id discuss the side effects of sedation with your cardiologist before the test, so you'll be prepared.

    Hugs to you...I know how afraid you must be right now. Feel free to pm me if you have questions or want to talk...I know from experience having someone to talk to who's been there is a great help. Good luck, mama.

    Answer by Tarinia at 5:44 AM on Jan. 31, 2010

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