The Particulars: Many patients with asthma will require emergent or urgent care following ED visits. It is unclear if these relapses result from acute episodes or chronic recidivism from persistently uncontrolled asthma.

Data Breakdown: For a study, investigators measured lung function and frequency of exacerbations during the 12 weeks following an asthma exacerbation resulting in ED visits among patients prescribed controller therapy. Baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 second was 57% after providing initial bronchodilator therapy in the ED, but increased to 67% at 12 weeks after visiting the ED. A total of 31 exacerbations were observed in 39% of patients at 12 weeks.

Take Home Pearls: Even when controller therapy has been prescribed, asthma appears to be poorly controlled. More exacerbations appear to be common when assessed at 12 weeks after ED visits for asthma exacerbations.