The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

USE OF ASTHMA MEDICATIONS AND PEAK FLOW METERS PRIOR TO EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT VISITS, 2009 - 2011.

Anna Pau1, Ronald R. Sanderson2, Karen Lee2; 1Respiratory Care, Kapiolani Community College, Honolulu, HI; 2Cardiopulmonary, Castle Medical Center, Kailua, HI

BACKGROUND: Uncontrolled asthma results in frequent visits to the Emergency Department (ED) exposing the asthma patient to increased risk and the health care system to increased cost. OBJECTIVE: To survey patients and identify opportunities for improvement of patient self-management education. METHOD: A convenience sample of all patients with asthma diagnosis during the years 2009-2011 were given a questionnaire to collect information on type of drugs taken prior to arriving to the ED, types of drugs being prescribed, if the patient has a peak flow meter (PFM), the number of visits to the ED in the past year for asthma and the severity of their symptoms. Questionnaires were analyzed to determine the following: prior to arrival at the ED which asthma patients took short-acting beta2 agonists (SABA) medications, those who did not take any medication, and those who took their inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) medications. We also looked at the number of visits to the ED and possession of a PFM. RESULTS: Of 386 patients from 2009-2011 for whom we had medication data, 76% took SABA prior to the ED visit compared to 24% who did not take any medications. Less than 1% were taking their ICS. Of 393 patients for whom we had PFM data, those with multiple ED visits were nearly three times more likely to have a PFM than those with no prior visits. (13% vs. 5%). Overall, only 18% of our ED asthma patients own a PFM. CONCLUSION: According to the NHLBI/NAEPP guidelines we have a great opportunity to improve effective, asthma self-management education by improving the consistent and appropriate use of SABA, ICS and PFM. Since we provide asthma education to all ED asthma patients, it is encouraging that those with multiple visits are much more likely to have a PFM. Sponsored Research - None