Children with asthma fare better with specialized treatment from allergists

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children.
Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children.

Children with asthma who are treated by an allergist are less likely to end up in the emergency department with an asthma attack, according to research presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting.

“Our goal is to control asthma well before the child is unable to breathe and needs to be rushed to the emergency department,” said Chitra Dinakar, MD, ACAAI fellow, and allergist-immunologist from Kansas City, MO.

Asthma is the most commonly found chronic disease in children, and one of the most difficult to manage. The study indicated that the probability of future acute care visits increased from 30% with 1 acute care visit to 87% with more than 5 acute care visits.

Overall, the study showed that patients receiving care and treatment from an allergist had fewer hospitalizations and emergency department visits, as well as fewer restrictions and improved physical functioning. Medical records for more than 10,000 children were surveyed over a 3-year period, with a focus on acute care visits – including emergency departments, urgent care centers, and inpatient hospital admissions.

“When a child is treated for asthma by an allergist, his or her chance of ending up in the emergency department with an asthma attack is much lower,” said Dr. Dinakar. Those patients typically report fewer hospitalizations, better breathing, fewer restrictions, and improved physical functioning.

Reference

  1. Hanson J. Developing a model for predicting future healthcare utilization in asthmatic children. Paper presented at: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting; November 5-9, 2015; San Antonio, TX. http://acaai.org/kids-asthma-can-avoid-er-avoiding-er; Accessed November 2, 2015.
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