The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2005 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

IMPACT OF A RESPIRATORY THERAPIST DRIVEN PROTOCOL ON LENGTH OF STAY FOR ASTHMA PATIENTS IN A CHILDRENS HOSPITAL

Dabney Eidson RRT, Micheal Frentzel RRT, William Grayson RRT, Cliff Dennis RRT Medical College of Georgia Health Inc. Augusta Georgia

BACKGROUND: To determine if implementing a therapist driven protocol for the treatment of asthmatic children could reduce their length of stay in the hospital and readmission rates after discharge.

METHODS: A protocol providing guidelines for the treatment of asthmatic children was developed through the Respiratory Care Service in conjunction with input from the Pediatric physicians and the hospital pharmacy. The protocol initially scored patients on arrival to the pediatric floors based on severity of symptoms. Therapeutic intervention managed by the protocol included the frequency of administrating aerosolized bronchodilators. Therapy was based on a scoring system that evaluated severity of symptoms such as respiratory rate, room air saturation, auscultation, and retractions. All patients were placed on systemic steroids with inhaled steroids administered per NHLBI guidelines In addition family and patient education were provided during the hospital stay along with a detailed treatment plan for home care. This protocol was utilized on (143) asthmatic patients from March 2004- March 2005. The control group consisted of (188) asthmatic patients from March 2003- March 2004. Both groups were matched for discharge diagnosis

CONCLUSIONS: The average length of stay for the inpatient control group was 62 hours compared to the patient group following the asthma protocol which had a reduced length of stay of only 23.52 hours. Readmission rates for the two groups were comparable.

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