Don't Delay Emergency Care When Asthma Flare-Ups Strike
|Author: Shelly Nolloth|
Date: Monday, May 16th, 2011
|Return to Archive|
That's the finding of a study that included 296 asthma patients in two New York City emergency departments. They were asked about the duration of their asthma symptoms and their attempts at self-management before they decided to go to the emergency department.
Two-thirds of the patients waited five days or less before they sought medical treatment and one-third waited longer than five days.
Patients who waited longer were more likely to be sicker when they arrived at the emergency department, more likely to arrive by ambulance, and more likely to be admitted to the hospital.
The study also found that patients who waited longer and those who sought treatment earlier were about equally likely to have health insurance (80 percent), to consult a physician before coming to the emergency department (23 percent and 18 percent, respectively), and to have used drugs called beta-agonists (albuterol, for example), which are typically prescribed to treat asthma flare-ups.
The study is slated to be presented Monday at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) international conference in Denver.
"An important aspect of managing asthma is for patients to realize when they can handle exacerbations with help from their regular doctors, and when they need the more intense treatment the emergency room provides," study author Dr. Carol Mancuso, an associate professor of medicine at the Hospital for Special Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, in New York City, said in an ATS news release.
"It is preferable to get help early from regular doctors and avoid the emergency room. However, when intense treatment is necessary, then the sooner the patients present to the emergency room the better, because then they are not as sick and are less likely to be hospitalized," she added.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about asthma.
SOURCE: American Thoracic Society, news release, May 16, 2011
June 29th and 30th
Starting Wednesday, June 22nd
May 16th – August 12th
How does one ditch a dependence on soda? Here are five tips for kicking your soda habit for good.
Are artificial sweeteners used in soft drinks and foods safe? Will they make us fat? How much is too much? Science doesn't have all the answers yet, but researchers have some clues.
Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,