Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2011; 15 (6): 711-716

Acute asthma in children: treatment in emergency

P. Pavone, M.R. Longo, R. Taibi, G. Nunnari*, C. Romano, E. Passaniti, R. Falsaperla

Department of Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency, University Hospital “Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele”, Catania (Italy) *Department of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital “Garibaldi”, Catania (Italy)

Abstract. – Background and Objective: Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases, leading to an increased rate of hospitalization.
Material and Methods: The aim of this report is to review the current concepts and treatment of asthmatic children, focusing our attention on the treatment of children in a Department of Pediatric Emergency.
Discussion: Frequent respiratory infections, personal or familial allergy, disease severity and young age are important factors leading to hospitalization. However, regular clinical follow-up and use of inhaled corticosteroids, the IgE levels and O2 saturation may reduce the probability of hospitalization during asthma attacks. The diagnosis of asthma in children is based on recognizing a characteristic pattern of episodic respiratory symptoms and signs, in the absence of an alternative explanation for them. The presence of these factors increases the probability that a child with respiratory symptoms will have asthma. These factors include age at presentation; sex; severity and frequency of previous wheezing episodes; coexistence of atopic disease; family history of atopy; and abnormal lung function.
Conclusion: Asthma is a chronic condition that often remains uncontrolled for reasons that may be related to the disease process itself, the management decisions of clinicians, the patient’s perceptions of disease control or self-management behaviors, the cost of medications, or a combination of all of these factors. To this end, patients with asthma should be educated not to accept a certain level of symptoms or activity limitations as an inevitable consequence of asthma. Both the levels of current impairment and the future risks (of asthma exacerbations or adverse medication effects) should be used to inform decisions about appropriate levels of asthma therapy, and physicians should be aware of the new medication recommendations.

Corresponding Author: Piero Pavone, MD; e-mail:

To cite this article

P. Pavone, M.R. Longo, R. Taibi, G. Nunnari*, C. Romano, E. Passaniti, R. Falsaperla
Acute asthma in children: treatment in emergency

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2011
Vol. 15 - N. 6
Pages: 711-716