Pediatric emergency departments are more likely than general emergency departments to treat asthma exacerbation with systemic corticosteroids.
ABSTRACT To determine whether systemic corticosteroids are under-prescribed (as measured by current NIH treatment guidelines) for children in the United States seen in the emergency department (ED) for acute asthma, and to identify factors associated with prescribing systemic corticosteroids.
We used data from the 2001-2007 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. The study population was children ≤ 18 years old in the ED with a primary diagnosis of asthma (ICD-9-CM code 493.xx) who received bronchodilator(s). The primary outcome was receipt of a systemic corticosteroid in the ED. Independent variables included patient-level (e.g., demographics, insurance, fever, admission), physician-level (provider type, ancillary medications and tests ordered), and system-level factors (e.g., ED type, geographic location, time of day, season, year). We used multivariable logistic regression techniques to identify factors associated with systemic corticosteroid treatment.
Systemic corticosteroids were prescribed at only 63% of pediatric acute asthma visits to EDs. Over the study period, there was a trend toward increasing systemic corticosteroid use (p for trend = .05). After adjusting for potential confounders, patients were more likely to receive systemic corticosteroids when treated in pediatric EDs than in general EDs (OR = 2.45; 95% CI: 1.26-4.77).
Systemic corticosteroids are under-prescribed for children who present to EDs with acute asthma exacerbations. Pediatric EDs are more likely than general EDs to treat asthma exacerbations with systemic corticosteroids. Differences in the process of care in pediatric ED settings (compared to general EDs) may increase the likelihood of adherence to NIH treatment guidelines.
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ABSTRACT: The effect of high orally administered doses of prednisone for 1 week early in the course of an acute exacerbation of asthma incompletely responsive to bronchodilators was examined in 41 patients randomly assigned to receive either prednisone or an identical appearing placebo. All 22 of the patients who received prednisone improved during the week of treatment, although one had a subsequent exacerbation 5 days after discontinuing the study medication. Of the 19 who received placebo, eight required rescue intervention (P = less than 0.004) in association with continued symptoms, increased frequency of metered-dose inhaler use, and decreased pulmonary function; the other 11 improved at about the same rate as those who received prednisone. Although the mean initial FEV1 was suggestively lower among those who did not improve and required intervention, there was considerable overlap with those who improved spontaneously, and no reliable distinguishing characteristics were found at entry into the study that could serve as predictors of those who would or would not improve spontaneously. There were no clinically important adverse effects from the prednisone. Because continued symptoms of asthma often result in emergency care or hospitalization, these data support early intervention with orally administered prednisone for acute exacerbations that do not respond fully to bronchodilators, at least in those patients with a prior history of a protracted course or emergency care.Journal of Pediatrics 05/1987; 110(4):627-33. · 4.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To review the use of systemic corticosteroids to treat recurrent, acute asthma episodes in children, with a focus on the role of oral corticosteroids. A comprehensive review of the literature was performed using the Medline database (January 1966-October 2002) and the Embase database (January 1980-August 2002). The significant findings of 17 selected, controlled clinical trials of oral corticosteroids (OCSs) for acute exacerbations of asthma in children, compared with placebo or with other formulations of corticosteroids, can be summarized as follows: 1) OCSs are effective for the outpatient treatment of acute asthma, 2) pulmonary function tests may not be the best means of assessing the efficacy of OCSs for acute asthma, 3) early administration of OCSs for acute asthma reduces hospitalizations, 4) the critical factor for a positive outcome is early administration of the corticosteroid, and 5) OCSs are preferred for the outpatient treatment of acute asthma. Early treatment of acute asthma symptoms with OCSs in children with a pattern of recurrent acute asthma may decrease the severity of acute asthma episodes and reduce the likelihood of subsequent relapses. Attention should be given to identifying these children and standardizing a treatment approach based on accepted, consistent definitions of what constitutes an asthma exacerbation and recurrence. A suggested protocol is described.PEDIATRICS 09/2003; 112(2):382-97. · 4.47 Impact Factor