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.


 
 

 
Senior Airman James Hensley

May: Asthma Awareness Month – Controlling symptoms important to quality of life

Senior Airman James Hensley Marian Budnik, 56th Medical Group healthcare coach, shows Stephen Delgado, 56th MDG customer support technician, how to use peak flow which measures lung function May 5 at Luke Air Force Base. Health...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents May 4 through 10: Tickets Security forces issued citations for 21 moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents May 8: Security forces responded to a report of a minor vehicle accident involving a privately owned vehicle and a fixed object at Bldg. 1514. There were...
 
 

TRICARE revises coverage by screening compound drugs

Beginning May 1 Express Scripts, the TRICARE pharmacy contractor, began screening ingredients in compound drug claims to ensure they are safe and effective and covered by TRICARE. This screening process is like the one TRICARE already uses for other prescription drugs, but it will now apply to the ingredients in compound drugs. Compound drugs are...
 

 

What motorcyclists and passenger vehicle drivers should know

Helmets: Even if you drive in a state that does not require the use of a helmet, it is recommended to wear one. NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,699 motorcyclists in 2012. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 781 lives could have been saved. Licensing issues: 24 percent of motorcycle...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents April 27 through May 3: Tickets Security forces issued citations for four moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents April 27: Security forces responded to a report of a minor two-vehicle accident at Bldg. 1124 parking lot. There were no injuries. Nonemergency responses April 30: Security forces...
 
 

Trainee breaks 90 percent, never looks back

“Lee, get off my track!” the instructor yelled. The time clock showed that 21 minutes had passed. Everyone in my flight was finished with the mile-and-a-half run except me. I didn’t finish. Before that we had been mock tested on the sit-up and pushup portion of the test. I performed six sit-ups and zero pushups...
 




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