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Proper management of childhood asthma requires more than prescription medications

Release date: 4/24/2014

Proper management of childhood asthma requires more than prescription medications

Childhood asthma is on the rise; Saint Peter’s to host May forum for parents

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - The Children’sHospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital will host an informational forum for parents of children with asthma from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 28 in the Sister Marie de Pazzi Conference Center, ground floor of the hospital, 254 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick. Speakers will include Archana Singh, MD, chief of pediatric pulmonology at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s, and several area parents of children with asthma.

The conference will explain the clinical signs of childhood asthma; when to see a physician; the testing process, and an explanation of treatment options, including medications.

 What is asthma? Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes the airways to produce large amounts of mucus, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma is aggravated by environmental factors such as air pollution and indoor pollutants such as pet dander and house dust mites, and fumes from liquids. 

 Who does it affect? Asthma is on the rise among children and adolescents ages 5 to 14 years and is the leading cause of hospital stays and school absences among that age group. Because a child’s airways are narrower than an adult’s, children have a greater risk of developing airway constriction.
Symptoms include cough, wheezing, tightness in the chest, difficult breathing, low endurance and a tired feeling. A child suspected of having asthma undergoes thorough examination, evaluation and tests necessary to confirm diagnosis. Tests include allergy testing when allergies are suspected to trigger asthma and a lung-function test. In addition to outdoor and indoor allergies, other triggers include: cigarette smoke; air pollution; acid reflux; infections; weather; excessive crying or laughing, and vocal cord problems. Treatment includes medications - some fast-acting - but “the goal of treatment should be to use minimum medication to control the condition and prevent long-term lung damage,” Dr. Singh said.

The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s is the only N.J. hospital cited for quality care of childhood asthma by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in America.

About Saint Peter’s University Hospital

Saint Peter’s University Hospital is a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. Saint Peter’s is a state-designated children’s hospital and a regional perinatal center, and is a regional specialist in geriatrics, oncology, orthopedics, women’s services and ambulatory care.

The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital provides families with access to a full range of pediatric specialties, including pediatric cardiology through its affiliation with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Saint Peter’s is a sponsor of residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and internal medicine, and is a regional medical campus of Drexel University College of Medicine.

The hospital, part of the Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, is recognized as a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, is a three-time winner of the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence in Nursing, and is recognized by the American Diabetes Association in all areas of diabetes education. Saint Peter’s is located at 254 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. For more information about Saint Peter’s, please visit www.saintpetershcs.com or call 732-745-8600.

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