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.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

EOD called out for expertise

Courtesy photo The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team recovers military ordnance July 4 from the rubble of a burnt down building at an auto repair facility in Phoenix. The Luke EOD team recovered nume...
 
 

Strong followers challenge authority

It’s not surprising that when I tell subordinates to challenge authority, I often get a look of confusion. Admittedly, this is a step used to provoke thought. Obviously, we don’t need subordinates undermining their leader’s authority. My intent is not to create insubordination — it is to underscore the importance of strong followership. Great leaders...
 
 

Travel access, opportunities not to be ignored

Possibly one of the greatest and overlooked gifts we have in the military is our ability to travel. More often than not, we are stationed at bases around the world where we have the access and opportunity to travel and see the local sites. However, it happens way too often that we ignore those opportunities....
 

 
Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would b...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Wanted: Airmen selfie videos The Air Force wants to hear from Airmen with unique stories about what led them to the Air Force, who are proud of their job and how it impacts the Air Force mission, or work in an exceptional unit. The 2014 American Airman Video Contest is open to all Airmen who...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Airman 1st Class Anna Valdez 56th Contracting Squadron Contracting specialist Hometown: Moscow Years in service: One Family: Husband, Phil; mother, Natalia; and father, Oleg Education: Russian State University of Trade and Economics bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics Inspirations: My parents demonstrated excellence and success in a loving environment, taught me to never give up...
 




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