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.


 
 

 
Pg-3--photo-illustration

Candid money talk improves relationship

There are many reasons why people divorce but at the top of the list are lack of communication and finances. That’s why it’s important to combine these two topics to make for a successful long-lasting relationship. “I bel...
 
 

Security managers: Protecting information Keep bad guys out, let good guys in

At Luke Air Force Base we need Airmen to fly, fight and maintain our aircraft, but we also need Airmen to protect classified information and ensure individuals have the clearances they need in order to complete the mission, and that’s where Luke’s security managers step in. “The security manager acts as the liaison between the...
 
 
6_Security

Home security part of Airman readiness

A home invasion, burglary or robbery can be a terrifying experience. Unfortunately, along with the possible loss or damage to possessions, it can remove the sense of security and make the victim feel vulnerable within his own h...
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents July 20 through 26 at Luke Air Force Base: Tickets Security forces issued citations for nine moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents July 23: Security forces responded to a report of a major two-vehicle accident at Super Saber Street. Driver 1 turned in front...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handed the following incidents at Luke Air Force Base July 13 through 19: Tickets Security forces issued citations for four moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents July 14: Security forces responded to a report of a minor two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Thunderbird and Kachina streets. There were...
 
 
Staff Sgt. 
LAUSANNE KINDER

944th ASTS Airmen saves child

Staff Sgt.LAUSANNE KINDER Tech. Sgt. Jude Joseph, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron medical technician and eight-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, poses in front of the 944th ASTS building July 8. Joseph was the f...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>