Children’s Hospital Boston Reports Progress On Asthma

BY ON March 22, 2012

Little girl blowing bubbles

This article is written by Kay Lazar for the Boston Globe

Hospitalizations for asthma have been dramatically cut by a program that helps families reduce the conditions that trigger attacks, saving $1.46 in hospital care for every $1 spent on prevention, according to a Children’s Hospital Boston study being released today.

The hospital’s program, the Community Asthma Initiative, targeted 283 children with asthma in some of Boston’s poorest neighborhoods. Health workers taught families how to correctly use medications and eliminate triggers of attack, such as contaminated bedding and feather dusters. They also provided each family a vacuum cleaner with special filters.

After the first year, asthma-related emergency room visits for children in the program plummeted 68 percent compared with their emergency room trips in the year before enrolling, and there was an 85 percent drop in hospitalizations, according to the study published online in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Additionally, there was a 43 percent decrease in the number of children who had to limit physical activity and a 41 percent reduction in reports of missed school days. For their parents, that translated into a 50 percent drop in the time they had to miss work to care for ailing youngsters, the study found.

The results are so promising that Massachusetts Medicaid officials are working with the Children’s Hospital team to develop a similar plan to improve care and reduce costs statewide for children covered by the health insurance program for low-income residents. Asthma rates are disproportionately higher in poor neighborhoods. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.

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TOPICS: African-American Community, Asthma, Latino Community, New Hampshire, Pollution, Social Justice