Pediatric Asthma: A Clinical Summary
thesisposted on 01.10.2020, 00:00 by Megan Meier
Pediatric asthma is a heterogeneous and chronic airway inflammatory disease experienced by 7.7% of the world’s pediatric population (CDC, 2020). It is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness and narrowing (Athari, 2019). Most patients present with shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, and expiratory airflow limitation worsening at night and upon wakening (Marchant et. al, 2006). Most asthma attacks are due to the underlying disease being triggered by exercise, allergen exposure, weather changes, or viral respiratory infections (Marchant et. al, 2006). Some populations have a higher risk of contracting asthma due to their genetic and environmental interactions (Hauptman et. al, 2020). These include males, infants with small gestational birth size, the obese, and children exposed to pollutants including tobacco smoke and vehicle exhaust (Hauptman et. al, 2020). Asthma diagnosis differs among pediatric patients. Children who are six years and older are diagnosed based on symptoms and measured lung function, while children five years and younger are diagnosed based on symptoms alone (GINA, 2020). Treatment is individualized to each patient based on guidelines. Pharmacotherapy includes controller, reliever, and add on medications with additional devices such as spacers and nebulizers to ease administration burden (GINA, 2020). Pediatric asthma is a common disease state that allows pharmacists to counsel patients and provide symptom management in the inpatient and outpatient setting.