Archivos de Pediatría del Uruguay
Print version ISSN 0004-0584
Introduction: asthma is the most common disease in childhood; it determines high morbidity and substantial health care costs. Objective: to analize the causes of hospitalization for asthma in order to develop strategies to improve health care of children with this disease. Methods: all asthmatic children 2 to 14 years old hospitalized for asthma in the Pediatrics Department, CASMU, between July 1/ 1999 and June 30/ 2000, were prospectively studied. Results: in the study period asthma represented 5% of all admissions (60/1209). Admission was decided because of: sustained low oxygen saturation (n=43), complications (n=16) and social causes (n=1). Mean age of the patients was 6,4 years, 48% were males. Asthma was classified as intermittent in 50% of the children; 59% had follow up control. None of them used peak flow meter and none had received antiinfluenza vaccine. Time elapsed between the beginning of the crisis and the visit to the emergency facility was longer than 12 hours in 72% of the cases. 48% of the children had received no treatment during the present crisis. Emergency treatment guidelines were followed in 28% of the cases. Mean duration of hospitalization was 2,7 days (1 - 18). Conclusions: improving treatment of asthma and achieving an adequate and opportune management of asthma crisis will probably lead to a reduction in the number of admissions for this disease.
Keywords : ASTHMA [therapy]; HOSPITALIZATION.