Snapshot of acute asthma: treatment and outcome of patients with acute asthma treated in Australian emergency departments

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Kelly, Anne-Maree, Powell, Colin VE and Kerr, Debra (2003) Snapshot of acute asthma: treatment and outcome of patients with acute asthma treated in Australian emergency departments. Internal Medicine Journal, 33 (9-10). pp. 406-413. ISSN 1444-0903


Aims: To characterize presentations due to acute asthma at Australian emergency departments (ED), including their severity, treatment and disposition. Methods: This prospective, observational study involved 38 departments of emergency medicine throughout ­Australia participating in the Snapshot of Asthma Study Group project 2000 and 2001. Data were collected for patients presenting with acute asthma between 21 August 2000 and 3 September 2000, and 20 August 2001 and 2 September 2001 and included demographics, severity classification, treatment and disposition. Results: There were 1340 acute asthma presentations in the study periods. Of these presentations, 67% were for children aged <15 years. Asthma severity (according to the Australian National Asthma Guidelines classifi­cation) was ‘mild’ in 49% of cases; ‘moderate’ in 45% of cases; and ‘severe’ in 6% of cases. Treatment administered included: (i) salbutamol to 90%, (ii) ipratropium bromide to 59% and (iii) corticosteroids to 71%. Only six patients received aminophylline. Spacer use for sal­butamol was rare (1%) in adults and only moderate (43%) in children. Sixty-five percent of patients were discharged home from the ED. Less than 1% of patients required ventilatory assistance, of which half was provided non-invasively. One percent of patients were admitted to the intensive-care unit or high-dependency unit. Conclusion: Overall adherence to treatment guidelines was good. There appears to be underuse of spacers and corticosteroids in some groups and overuse of ipra­tropium bromide. The majority of patients are treated and discharged from the ED.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1046/j.1445-5994.2003.00469.x
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1102 Cardiorespiratory Medicine and Haematology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1103 Clinical Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Keywords ResPubID19041, asthma, management, outcome, guidelines, bronchial disorders, National Asthma Campaign (Australia), National Asthma Guidelines, NAG
Citations in Scopus 32 - View on Scopus
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