Asthma Basics

  • Nearly 1 in 10 children have asthma
  • Most children who develop asthma (80%) develop symptoms prior to 5 years of age
  • Cough and wheeze are the most common symptoms; breathlessness, chest tightness, chest pain can also be experienced.
  • Triggers include viral illnesses, exercise, weather, smoke exposure, allergens, irritants, and stress

Program Goals

  • To identify children at any encounter that are at risk for having asthma
  • To further assess those children identified as being at risk
  • To assist those with asthma to appropriately manage symptoms through:
    • Education
    • Initiation of controller medications when necessary
    • Management of exacerbations when they occur
    • To monitor progress on medications, assess for side effects, and manage dosing as appropriate
    • Coordinate specialist care when appropriate (Allergists, Pulmonologists)

Diagnosis

Assessment for asthma is based on:

  • History
  • Physical Examination
  • Demonstration that obstruction (what causes symptoms) is reversible
  • Excluding other diagnosis where appropriate

Diagnosis

Assessment for asthma is based on:

  • History
  • Physical Examination
  • Demonstration that obstruction (what causes symptoms) is reversible
  • Excluding other diagnosis where appropriate

Management

  • Standardized Assessment Questionnaires such as the Asthma Control Test to assess recent symptoms
  • Spirometry to assess amount of airway obstruction present at time of visit
  • Laboratory studies to assess for allergies, immune deficiencies, cystic fibrosis where appropriate
  • Referrals to allergists, immunologists, pulmonologists where appropriate
  • Adjustments and Education on which medications to use and when based on assessment