Health & Safety

June 14, 2013

Asthma diagnoses in children on steady rise

Asthma stands as a unique diagnosis in the pediatric population due to how often it is found in the general population as well as the potential for significant complications associated with symptoms suddenly worsening.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, asthma affects approximately one out of every 12 children in the United States. In addition, asthma as a diagnosis has been steadily on the rise over the past 20 to 30 years. With statistics like these it is safe to say that anyone reading this article knows at least one child with asthma.

By definition, asthma is a chronic inflammation of the small airways in the lungs which leads to blockage of air flow while breathing. To meet the definition, symptoms must have been present for at least six weeks. These symptoms can include a persistent cough, cough after exercise, frequent night time cough, difficulty keeping up with peers during physical exertion and wheezing (a musical, high pitched sound). Children with asthma often have a history of eczema (a skin condition) or allergic rhinitis (chronic runny nose), and frequently have a family history of asthma.

Symptoms suggestive of an asthma attack include such things as:

Chest tightness, difficulty getting full breaths, difficulty talking in full sentences, difficulty with feeds or eating in babies, and retractions (sucking in of the ribs and neck while breathing in).

These symptoms are indications that the child needs immediate medical attention and should never be ignored.

Unfortunately, there is no one symptom that defines asthma, and a child may only display one or two of these symptoms, making the diagnosis difficult both for the parents and doctors to recognize. In addition, symptoms are often associated with specific triggers which vary among individuals. Some of the more common asthma triggers include exercise, seasonal allergies, food allergies, changes in seasons or temperatures, viral illnesses like common cold, irritant exposures (including cigarette smoke, perfumes, dust and strong vapors), stress, drugs and for some patients, even strong emotions.

Any parent who has concerns their child may be exhibiting symptoms consistent with asthma should seek a medical evaluation from the child’s primary care manager. Parents should be prepared to answer questions regarding these symptoms and anticipate that coming to a full diagnosis may take time, additional testing and multiple visits to the clinic.

Once diagnosed, children are initially monitored closely by their PCM every few weeks to adjust medications, answer questions and provide ongoing asthma education. As the patient’s symptoms become well controlled these visits are spaced out to every three to six months.

With patient education and the right asthma management plan, patients and families can learn to control asthma and its symptoms more independently, allowing them to live full and uninhibited lives.

The 56th Medical Group provides a wide variety of programs and services for the diagnosis and treatment of asthma. Our approach is multidisciplinary, providing customized care based on the child’s individual needs.

For more information and resources, call the child’s primary care manager at (623) 856-2273.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Airman 1st Class James Hensley

Luke cuts ribbon on F-35 Academic Training Center

Airman 1st Class James Hensley Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, cuts the ceremonial ribbon Oct. 9 marking the completion of the academic training center building at Luke Air Force Base. The buildin...
 
 
Forino_J

U.S., Singapore partnership standout

Lt. Col. John Forino Aug. 9 marked the 49th anniversary of Singapore’s independence. The 425th Fighter Squadron is an operational squadron comprised of elite U.S. Air Force and Republic of Singapore air force personnel design...
 
 
shirts-graphicbw

‘Guts’ required to enforce standards

A few years ago, a fellow senior NCO requested I talk to her subordinate about her appearance, specifically pertaining to her hair. Naturally, I asked about what the issue was and why she couldn’t have a discussion with her o...
 

 
141008-F-HT977-008

Airmen get new ‘Community Commons’

Renovations on Bldg. 700, which houses the Health and Wellness Center, will take place April 2015 through spring 2016 at Luke Air Force Base. Subway and the barbershop will remain open during construction. Other amenities, such...
 
 

News Briefs October 17, 2014

Keep good mental health Calling all Airmen! Sleep disturbances such as insomnia and nightmares can affect people personally and professionally. Reaching out to a medical provider is a step in the right direction to good health. Courtesy of the 56th Medical Group Haunted house The 56th Mission Support Group is featuring Operation: Haunted Block House...
 
 

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

Jessica Behrens 56th Medical Support Squadron Pharmacist Hometown: Seneca, Missouri Years in service: Three Family: Husband, Chris; daughter, Katelyn, 2; son, Levi, 5 months Education: Bachelor’s degree from University of Arkansas and doctor of pharmacy from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska Previous assignments: Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida; Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma; Spring...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin