Nurse Education – Childhood Deaths from Asthma – Lessons to Learn

Nurse Education – Childhood Deaths from Asthma – Lessons to Learn

Do you know the findings of a review surrounding children that died from Asthma conducted in NSW?  The enclosed article published in the Medical Journal of Australia in February 2015  identifies a number of  interesting facts that we can learn from which include the following:

  • Deaths from asthma among children were rare, and more common in older children
  • there has been a recent increase in deaths, the cause of which is not clear
  • risk factors include low socioeconomic status,psychosocial problems, and Asian and Pacific Islander backgrounds
  • all the children who died had been diagnosed with asthma; most had persistent asthma and were atopic; seven had a history of food allergy (five confirmed on skin prick testing); and three had  a history of anaphylaxis and had been prescribed or had used an adrenaline auto injector
  • younger children were more likely to be hospitalised and less likely to die, and older children were less likely to be hospitalised and more likely to die
  • three-quarters of those who died had been hospitalised in the previous 5 years and 11 had been hospitalised in the year before their death, of whom eight did not receive follow-up care
  • all those who died had seen a general practitioner about their asthma, but regular review was uncommon (most just saw a GP when they were unwell) and only eight of those who died had seen a specialist
  • two-thirds of those who died had been given a written asthma action plan and about half had one developed in the year before death
  • written asthma action plans were on the school files of half (seven) of the children who were attending school and five of these were developed in the year before death
  • most of those who died had been prescribed reliever and preventer medication

The article does also provide some  recommendations and references to use in regards to best practice Asthma Management. The Nurses for Nurses Network has a great range of Nursing Education and Nursing activities related to contemporary and best practice Nursing . The sessions are focused on Nurses who need to know about Nursing in the ‘real world’ where Nurses are often time poor and resource limited!

Childhood Asthma

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