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Wednesday 01 August 2001

Predictors of hospitalization in children with acute asthma.

By: Keogh KA, Macarthur C, Parkin PC, Stephens D, Arseneault R, Tennis O, Bacal L, Schuh S.

J Pediatr 2001 Aug;139(2):273-7

OBJECTIVE: To identify predictors of long duration of bronchodilator therapy in children with acute asthma. STUDY DESIGN: An emergency department prospective cohort study of 278 children > or =12 months of age, with clinical and socioeconomic parameters collected at baseline and 4 hours after administration of corticosteroids. Patients were classified into short and long therapy groups, with interval from first albuterol dose to initiation of administration every 4 hours < or =12 or >12 hours, respectively. Predictors significant by univariate analysis were examined by multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: Five variables were associated with long therapy (n = 85) versus short therapy (n = 193): previous intensive care unit admission (odds ratio [OR] 7.2, 95% CI = 1.85, 27.7); baseline oxygen saturation < or =92% (OR 2.6, 95% CI = 0.89, 7.4), asthma score > or =6/9 (OR 2.9, 95% CI = 1.9, 4.37), oxygen saturation < or =92% (OR 6.6, 95% CI = 1.34, 32.0), and hourly albuterol dosing interval (OR 4.3, 95% CI = 0.82, 22.12) 4 hours after administration of corticosteroids. Probability of long therapy was 91.8% to 99% for > or =3 predictors, but only 40.6% to 61.8% for individual factors. CONCLUSION: A combination of 3 or more factors predicts long bronchodilator therapy and signals the need for hospitalization. Children with only one predictor can be safely treated in the emergency department or observation unit and reevaluated.

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