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Asthma Guidelines

Following science-based guidelines works

Not only do they have the potential to improve a patient’s quality of life; they can potentially save a life.

National asthma guidelines have been updated

In 2007, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP), coordinated by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), released its third set of clinical practice guidelines for asthma. The Expert Panel Report 3—Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (EPR-3) reflects the latest scientific advances in asthma drawn from a systematic review of the published medical literature by an NAEPP-convened expert panel. It describes a range of generally accepted best-practice approaches for making clinical decisions about asthma care.

The EPR-3 emphasizes the importance of asthma control and focuses on two domains—current impairment and future risk—by which to assess asthma severity (for initiating therapy) and asthma control (for ongoing monitoring). EPR-3 also includes an expanded section on childhood asthma (with an additional age group), new guidance on medications, new recommendations on patient education in settings beyond the physician's office, and new advice for controlling environmental exposures that can cause asthma symptoms.

Asthma can be controlled

Scientific evidence clearly shows that most people could control their asthma by following current asthma clinical practice guidelines. With proper care, people who have asthma can stay active, sleep through the night, and avoid having their lives disrupted by asthma attacks.

As a general rule, patients with well-controlled asthma should have:

  • Few, if any, asthma symptoms.
  • Few, if any, awakenings during the night caused by asthma symptoms.
  • No need to take time off from school or work due to asthma.
  • Few or no limits on full participation in physical activities.
  • No emergency department visits.
  • No hospital stays.
  • Few or no side effects from asthma medicines.

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Last Updated February 2011