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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 2099-2103

Reasons for recurrent visits of emergency department by pediatric asthmatic patients in Al-Qassim Region

1 Assistant Professor, Pediatric Department, Unaizah College of Medicine, Qassim University, Buraydah, Saudi Arabia
2 Medical Student, Unaizah College of Medicine, Qassim University, Buraydah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammad A Alhasoon
Assistant Professor, Pediatric Department, Unaizah College of Medicine, Qassim University, Buraydah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_966_19

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Introduction: Bronchial asthma has been the subject of controversy for several decades. The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) describes asthma as "a heterogeneous disease, usually characterized by chronic airway inflammation. It is defined by the history of respiratory symptoms such as wheeze, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and cough that vary over time and in intensity, together with variable expiratory airflow limitation." Although not strictly a definition, this description captures the essential features for clinical purposes. Bronchial asthma is defined as a chronic lung disease characterized by airway obstruction, inflammation and hyper-responsiveness that leads to symptoms like wheezing, coughing, chest tightening and shortness of breath especially at night or in the morning. It is one of the most common medical emergency conditions in the pediatrics all over the world. The primary care provider is the cornerstone of this study; his/her awareness about reasons of recurrent visits of emergency department by pediatric asthmatic patients would help to reduce the frequency of ED visits, which lead to minimizing the load on hospitals by addressing patient's concerns, correcting some misconceptions, and improving the patients' and their parents' knowledge and awareness. Aim: This study aims to identify the predictors associated with frequent visits to the ED among asthmatic children at main governmental hospitals in Al-Qassim Region. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted at three different emergency departments in Qassim region such as Maternity and Children Hospital in Buraidah, King Saud Hospital in Unayzah, and Alrass General Hospital. A validated interview questionnaire was used which includes general demographic characteristics, whether the caregiver has been educated about asthma as a disease, about the use of medicines and inhalers, about the management of symptoms, reasons for using the ED for asthma care, prescription received during the ED visit, and referral from ED. Results: Children with less than 3 visits to ED for the last 6 months were 70.3% while those with 3 or more visits were 29.7%. Nearly all patients (88.3%) had already been diagnosed with asthma with their attending physician. The most commonly known medication was beta-agonist (62%) while the most common reason for ED visit was "to obtain oxygen" and "to obtain a bronchodilator." The prevalence of ED referral to PHC was low (9.7%). Based on the adjusted regression model, we observed that medication used (AOR = 1.760, P = 0.046) and referral from ED (AOR = 3.711, P < 0.001) were the significant factors being associated with 3 or more visits to ED. Conclusion: Recurrent ED visitation of children with asthma was moderately low. Furthermore, medication used and referral from ED were identified as the predictors being associated with recurrent visits to ED. Further research is needed in order to validate the predictors being associated with recurrent ED visitation of asthmatic children in our region.

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