Pediatric nurse explores asthma exacerbation

Asthma is the most common chronic illness in children. Nationally, the frequency of patients with asthma exacerbation is a major public health problem in pediatrics, with more than 600,000 of these emergency department admissions annually.

Candace-Rae Haislip, BSN, RN, Staff Nurse, Pediatrics, observed the frequency of patients admitted to the Pediatric Emergency Department (PED) for exacerbation of asthma. Patients often experienced asthma symptoms for more than 24 hours before presenting to the PED. She also learned caregivers lacked the understanding in the importance of maintenance therapies to prevent exacerbations.

As a nurse, Candace-Rae understood the connection between asthma exacerbation and nonadherence to a patient’s asthma management plan. As a result, she enrolled in the Evidence-based Practice Fellowship program in September 2016.

Her search of the evidence led to her clinical question of:

“In school-aged children, does immediate patient/caregiver education on the importance of asthma control and maintenance, including adherence at  a scheduled appointment with the Asthma Care Clinic, reduce Pediatric Emergency Department readmissions for asthma exacerbation?”

Candace-Rae will devote the next year to  implement her project and then evaluate  the outcomes. She is currently developing interventions and obtaining baseline  data for use in the evaluation of the  project. A team of nurses, physicians  and respiratory therapists from the PED  are partnering with Candace-Rae on this  important project. 

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