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Improving Care for Persistent Pediatric Asthma

Improving Care for Persistent Pediatric Asthma

About 7 million children in the United States suffer from asthma, and most are typically dependent on caregivers to administer their medications, often via metered-dose inhalers (MDIs). To ensure that the appropriate dose is inhaled, a spacer is commonly used. “The spacer device is generally prescribed for kids with asthma in the U.S., but incorrect use can result in decreased drug delivery to distal airways and poor asthma outcomes,” says Marina Reznik, MD, MS. Caregiver Technique for Pediatric Asthma Few studies have examined whether caregivers of young minority children with persistent asthma use the proper technique when applying an MDI-spacer delivery system. To address this void, Dr. Reznik and colleagues had a study published in the Journal of Asthma that surveyed and evaluated 169 caregivers of urban minority children with persistent asthma who were prescribed daily medication with MDIs. The researchers monitored the administering technique among caregivers using a 10-step checklist that outlined guideline recommendations on appropriate methods for delivering adequate medication. Five of the 10 steps were deemed essential for adequate delivery of asthma medication. The majority of caregivers who administered daily asthma medication used the incorrect MDI-spacer technique, according to Dr. Reznik. “Only one of 169 caregivers accurately carried out all 10 steps outlined in national guidelines as the appropriate method to deliver adequate medication. Fewer than 4% of study subjects were able to complete five essential steps.” Caregivers whose children had been admitted for asthma in the past year were more likely to exhibit correct use, suggesting that they were retrained during the hospitalization. Higher caregiver educational level also correlated with proper use of the MDI-spacer...
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