Parents delay child's asthma treatment

Feb. 17, 2010 at 6:26 PM
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ST. LOUIS, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say parents may recognize signs of asthma attack in their children, but they often delay treatment.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggest opportunities to intervene early and possibly reduce the extent of the attack and prevent visits to the emergency room are being missed.

Jane Garbutt and colleagues found more than 60 percent of the 101 parents of children ages 2-12 recently treated for an asthma exacerbation by a hospital or after-hours call center reported noticing signs such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, cold or allergy symptoms, or behavioral changes such as becoming quiet or more temperamental.

The findings have prompted a follow-up study in which asthma coaches are working with physicians to promote earlier use of albuterol as well as other self-management treatments. In addition, the coaches are giving parents a symptom diary to help them recognize patterns.

The study was published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

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