Study: New England leads US in asthma cases

kid with asthma inhalerA recent report by the Asthma Regional Council of New England found that there were more documented asthma cases in New England than any other area of the county. New England asthma patients were also more likely than asthma suffers in other parts of the country to miss school, work and/or be hospitalized as a result of their condition.

And while asthma is a widespread chronic disease, affecting millions of kids everyday, it’s even more prevalent in low-income areas and among Latino and Black children. Their rate of hospital admissions is five times higher than for white children.

Asthma is also the leading cause of hospitalization at Children’s Hospital Boston. In response to a growing number of asthma-related hospitalizations, Children’s nurses and community health workers launched Children’s Community Asthma Initiative in 2005. CAI’s goal is to reduce the number of asthma-related emergency department visits and hospital admissions through a comprehensive approach that includes patient care, evaluation, training, education and community advocacy. CAI specialists have been going on location to the houses of asthma suffers and providing asthma medication education, as well as tips on how to make homes more bearable for asthma suffers.

CAI points out where asthma triggers can hide
CAI points out where asthma triggers can hide

And it’s working. Among the families who received an asthma education home visit from a Children’s clinician, data shows asthma-related ER visits are down 65 percent,  in-patient hospital stays for respiratory trouble have plummeted 81 percent and there have been far less absence from school or work due to asthma.

Susan Sommer, RNC, NP, AC-E from Children’s Community Asthma Initiative was recently interviewed by WBZ-TV to talk about the number of asthma cases Children’s treats each year, and how many of these visits may be preventable.

Click here to watch the video.