Asthma in Children Essay

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Table of Contents

Introduction ………………………………………………………………. 3

Overview …………………………………………………………………. 4

What is Asthma …………………………………………………………... 5

What are the signs and symptoms of asthma? ..………………………….. 5

What can make asthma symptoms worse? ………………………………. 6

What is the treatment for asthma? ……………………………………….. 8

Peak flow and its importance ……………………………………………. 9

Asthma Action Plan ……………………………………………………... 9

Patient Information Leaflet ……………………………………………... 10

Summary ………………………………………………………………... 11

References ………………………………………………………………. 13

Introduction

“Asthma can affect anyone, any age, anywhere, but it is particularly common among children. Nowadays asthma affects one in five households in the United Kingdom, and it is increasingly common. So how do you recognize the condition and minimize the impact on you, your child and your family? “(Barlow 2007). Often times parents of children with asthma are not given much information on what to do with their child after discharge from the Emergency department especially in patients who are newly diagnosed with asthma. This results in them bringing back their child even though the asthma attack is mild due to parents/carers knowledge about asthma or on home care is limited. Recent developments in the management of chronic illnesses such as asthma offer many possibilities for optimal control, but parents/main carers of children with asthma need to take on responsibilities for self-care. This paper reflects an informative approach on paediatric asthma. The aim is to give information about asthma, to give a brief definition, explain the symptoms of asthma, what the treatments are, what exacerbates the symptoms, and what to do if an asthma attack occurs. The better the parent / carer and the child understand asthma and its treatment the better they will be able to manage and control it. It will also set out why a patient information leaflet should be introduced to help patients and carers to better manage symptoms at home and help reduce hospital attendances.

Overview

Whilst working in a busy north London Accident and Emergency ( A&E ) department

It has been noted that when children attend with asthma they are discharged from the

Department with no further information or support with regards to home care, especially the ones who are newly diagnosed. What happens often is that the parents are given the medications by the nurse without even explaining what to do next or what to watch out for with regards to their childs asthma because the nurse has limited time due to the fact that the department is often busy and there is no time to sit down and chat with the parents prior to discharge. After collaborating with the peadiatric section of the department a need has been identified for giving information to parents / carers about asthma in children to help reduce / prevent A&E attendances and help children be cared for at home by means of their parents and general practitioners(GP).

Through writing an action plan I have identified what areas of information was

needed to be covered in the information leaflet, these being:

What is asthma?

What are the signs and symptoms?

What can make asthma symptoms worse?

What is the treatment for asthma?

What is a peakflow and its importance in managing the child’s asthma?

What to do when an asthma attack occurs?

An action plan after discharge from the department

Useful contact numbers and website address’

What is asthma?

At work I have encountered parents who have limited knowledge about asthma. It is a key issue for parents/ carers to know what asthma is In the leaflet, I have briefly mentioned the definition of asthma as derived by the World Heatlh Organization. The World Health Organization defines asthma as a condition that affects the airways, it is due to the...
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