Study Type: Observational Retrospective Review
Study Period: June 2010 – October 2010
Status asthmaticus is the most common medical emergency in children today and is responsible for nearly half a million hospital admissions annually. Despite evidence that asthma hospitalizations are decreasing, asthma mortality is not. In order to gain a better understanding of status asthmaticus, its treatment, and its overall outcomes, each PICU research team within the Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network (CPCCRN) examined its admissions records in detail for children aged from 1 year up to the 18th birthday over the last 5 years for any instances of deaths resulting from a diagnosis of asthma (fatal asthma). Post-mortem data was reviewed where available. In addition, the medical records for children intubated and mechanically ventilated for asthma (near-fatal asthma) were analyzed. This review and abstraction has enabled CPCCRN investigators to quantify the current variability of critical asthma treatment and has helped us to identify additional medical problems, such as organ failure and the relatively high intubation rate for African-American children that occurred during the patient’s near-fatal illness. Data from this study will inform development of prospective studies investigating the management of critical asthma.
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