asthma relievers and corticosteroid medications
An acute asthma episode is the number one reason for admission to Dayton Children’s. To ensure our asthma patients are given the appropriate medications and care, we developed a patient driven protocol. The protocol directs care, and breathing treatments based on an asthma scoring system.
There are two medications to treat an acute asthma attack.
- An inhaled reliever medication called a bronchodilator that relaxes the smooth muscles around the breathing tubes (airways) to help open the airways.
- A systemic corticosteroid used to reduce the inflammation in the lining of the breathing tubes (airways). During an acute asthma episode, a systemic corticosteroid is administered orally (by mouth) or by intravenous (if not tolerated by mouth) routes. Oral steroids can have serious side effects when used long term., therefore, the patient is prescribed an inhaled corticosteroid, known as a controller medication to use after discharge, which has fewer side effects. The controller medication is taken daily to prevent asthma symptoms and attacks on an ongoing basis.
Our team of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists also engage parents in discussions about how to reduce the triggers that cause their child to have asthma attacks. There are many contributing factors, such as food allergies, molds, pet dander, dust, cockroaches, and strong scents, especially secondhand smoke in the home, and outside pollens and air pollution. Community resources are also available to eliminate any barriers to caring for the child. Our team of experts provide an Asthma Action Plan (a form) to use to self-manage their child’s asthma after discharge.
Dayton Children’s outcomes for inpatient asthma care is measured to ensure appropriate frequency of treatment is given, length of stay is no more than 48 hours, education is completed and every patient receives an Asthma Action Plan and medication before discharge.