Study finds children's asthma meds are not being properly administered by caregivers

Posted at: 10/28/2013 3:19 PM
Updated at: 10/28/2013 5:56 PM
By: Benita Zahn

It's estimated 1 in 10 children have asthma. Yet, based on a study by Montefiore Hospital,  many don't have good disease control - and not because the medication isn't working but because they're not using it correctly and their parents or other guardian aren't aware of the poor administration.

"Which will lead to low concentration of medication or deposition in the lung which results in inadequate control of the asthma. So this is a very common case scenario we see." says Dr. Asghar Pasha with the Asthma and Allergy Center at Albany Medical Center.

Dr. Pasha says it's tough for kids to coordinate triggering the inhaler and breathing in deeply at the same time. That's why the medication is delivered through a spacer - a special device that holds the medication in a chamber - allowing the child to breathe normally to get the treatment. But even this isn't foolproof.

"If it's not well attached there can be leakage. Also, make sure it's clean. If not, that can slow down the deposition in the lung."

And although obvious - make sure there's medication in the inhaler. Dr. Pasha says, every time your child has an appointment, review treatment technique with the medical staff.

Asthma is an inflammatory disease. There are two types of asthma medications - one to control the disease, the other - a rescue medicine when there's an immediate problem., .

"If you don't treat that inflammation with anti-inflammatory, which is the gold standard is inhaled steroid, the child is going to continue to have asthma symptoms and will use their rescue medicine alot."

Eventually those rescue medicines won't be as effective - and poorly controlled asthma can lead to hospitalization and in severe cases, death.

Everyday 3600 children miss school in this country because of complications from asthma.