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Inconsistent Achievement Of Guidelines For Acute Asthma Care In Hospital EDs

Update Date: Oct 20, 2014 10:36 AM EDT

A new study compared the care delivered to patients coming to hospital emergency departments (EDs) for acute asthma attacks in recent years with data gathered more than 15 years earlier and found existing inconsistencies in how well hospitals are meeting nationally established treatment guidelines. 

The study found that while the achievement of most guidelines defining appropriate pharmacologic treatments for particular patients improved over the study period, hospitals did not do well in meeting several other guidelines. 

"Asthma continues to be a significant health problem in the U.S., and while the improved ability of hospitals and other facilities to meet health quality guidelines for conditions such as heart attacks and pneumonia has been documented, changes in the quality of emergency asthma care have attracted less attention," said Kohei Hasegawa, MD, MPH, MGH Department of Emergency Medicine, corresponding author of the report, in the press release.

"We found that while emergency asthma care has become highly concordant with those guideline recommendations that are supported by strong scientific evidence, concordance with guideline-recommended care supported by weaker evidence declined. Our observations should encourage studies building more robust evidence for the latter."

The study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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