- Volume 6 | Summer 2011
- Not on our list? Subscribe now!
NACI Breaking News
Asthma Webinar Sets Attendance Record
558 — That’s how many people logged on for the webinar “Asthma Control: Are you doing YOUR Part? An Update for School Nurses in School-based Asthma Management,” hosted by the American School Health Association (ASHA), a National Asthma Control Initiative (NACI) Strategic Partner.
That’s more people than can be seated in a Boeing 747 “Jumbo Jet.” It’s also about six times as many participants as ASHA had expected.
“In October 2010, we had a similar workshop at our annual conference, and we anticipated some 75–100 webinar participants based on that turnout,” said Stephen Conley, Ph.D., ASHA Executive Director. “Webinar registration was open for 5 weeks, and initially we had 75 registrants. Then suddenly, last minute, it jumped to 300!”
Conley was thrilled, but he had a problem. ASHA had signed up for a 30-day free trial of webinar software which seated only 100.
GIP in Focus
Emergency Care Providers Take Longer-Term View
“Ten to 15 years ago, thinking in terms of prevention was an unusual perspective in the emergency department,” said Carlos Camargo, M.D., Dr.PH., Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Harvard Medical School, and an emergency physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Now, thanks to EPR-3 and earlier guidelines, more emergency physicians are thinking differently about asthma. They are prescribing oral corticosteroids more frequently and asking ‘What should I do to prevent the next asthma exacerbation?’”
What is EPR-3?
EPR-3 stands for the Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. Clinical practice guidelines, such as those outlined in the EPR-3, help both health care providers and patients make decisions about appropriate asthma care.
Prescribing oral corticosteroids is just one of several EPR-3 recommendations that emergency department (ED) clinicians are following more closely. But some of the recommendations are more challenging than others, such as having the time to counsel patients about the importance of taking prescribed inhaled corticosteroids and setting up a follow-up asthma-care appointment with their primary care provider within 1–4 weeks after being discharged from the ED.
Asthma Research into Action
Fall Isn’t Just Back-to-School Season: It’s Also Asthma Flare-up Season
As parents of children with asthma prepare their back-to-school to-do list in the next month or so, they’ll want to make sure that an asthma follow-up visit with their child’s health care provider is on that list. By using follow-up visits to ensure that their young scholar has his or her asthma under control in time for the school year, parents can minimize the chance of asthma attacks and resulting missed school days this fall.
Asthma is a major cause of school absenteeism in the United States. In 2008, children ages 5–17 missed an average of four days of school a year because of their asthma. Overall, children miss about 10.5 million school days a year as a result of asthma. Yet, flare-ups in asthma symptoms can be avoided, with help from regularly scheduled follow-up visits.
“Repetition leads to improved adherence, and medications can be adjusted to meet changes in asthma,” said Dr. William W. Busse, an asthma expert and professor of medicine in the Division of Allergy Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of Wisconsin.
School Nurses Help Golden State Students Breathe More Easily
School nurses aren’t just the focus of this spring’s American School Health Association webinar: They’re a primary audience for Raymond Kohl, teacher advisor and grant manager with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Nursing Services Asthma Program.
“Some 63,000 of 600,000 students enrolled in the LAUSD have asthma, and it not only affects their health—it impacts their education,” says Kohl. “Even if they’re in school, their asthma can be distracting—like a hippo sitting on their chest. That’s why it’s important that LAUSD’s 550 school nurses have available to them both asthma training and tools to assist them in helping their students.”
As one of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program’s (NAEPP) 13 NACI Demonstration Projects, LAUSD used NACI funding to help launch the Enhanced Strategies for Schools (ESS) project. The project seeks to strengthen links among students, families, providers, and schools by using Web-based trainings and user-friendly tools to increase understanding of asthma symptoms and control.