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Acute paediatric asthma treatment in the prehospital setting: a retrospective observational study

Craig, Simon, Delardes, Belinda, Nehme, Ziad, Wilson, Catherine, Dalziel, Stuart, Nixon, Gillian M., Powell, Colin, Graudins, Andis and Babl, Franz E. 2023. Acute paediatric asthma treatment in the prehospital setting: a retrospective observational study. BMJ Open 13 (6) , e073029. 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-073029

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Objectives To describe the incidence of and patterns of ‘escalated care’ (care in addition to standard treatment with systemic corticosteroids and inhaled bronchodilators) for children receiving prehospital treatment for asthma. Design Retrospective observational study. Setting State-wide ambulance service data (Ambulance Victoria in Victoria, Australia, population 6.5 million) Participants Children aged 1–17 years and given a final diagnosis of asthma by the treating paramedics and/or treated with inhaled bronchodilators from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. Primary and secondary outcome measures We classified ‘escalation of care’ as parenteral administration of epinephrine, or provision of respiratory support. We compared clinical, demographic and treatments administered between those receiving and not receiving escalation of care. Results Paramedics attended 1572 children with acute exacerbations of asthma during the 1 year study period. Of these, 22 (1.4%) had escalated care, all receiving parenteral epinephrine. Patients with escalated care were more likely to be older, had previously required hospital admission for asthma and had severe respiratory distress at initial assessment. Of 1307 children with respiratory status data available, at arrival to hospital, the respiratory status of children had improved overall (normal/mild respiratory distress at initial assessment 847 (64.8%), normal/mild respiratory distress at hospital arrival 1142 (87.4%), p<0.0001). Conclusions Most children with acute exacerbations of asthma did not receive escalated therapy during their pre-hospital treatment from ambulance paramedics. Most patients were treated with inhaled bronchodilators only and clinically improved by the time they arrived in hospital.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 2044-6055
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 September 2023
Date of Acceptance: 6 June 2023
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2023 10:02

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