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Free Content Acute severe asthma in Trinidad and Tobago

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SETTING: Accident and emergency department, General Hospital, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

OBJECTIVE: To measure the occurrence and clinical management of acute severe asthma.

DESIGN: Data collected prospectively for consecutive attendees with asthma over a period of 3 months.

RESULTS: Asthma accounted for 8.8% of attendances. Treatment for the acute attack included nebulised salbutamol in 1031 (85%) and nebulised atrovent in 769 (63%). Systemic corticosteroids were given to 623 (51%) patients. Only 247 (20%) had planned follow-up arrangements recorded. Usual maintenance treatment included inhaled salbutamol in 767 (63%) and inhaled corticosteroid in 286 (24%). Inhaled corticosteroids were more often used by patients aged ≥15 years or who had had previous hospital admissions for asthma.

CONCLUSION: The survey identified deficiencies in the clinical management of acute asthma attacks and in long-term asthma care. Caribbean guidelines for asthma care have subsequently been published, and follow-up surveys should be carried out to evaluate their implementation.
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Keywords: Trinidad and Tobago; West Indies; asthma; health care utilisation; quality of care

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: The General Hospital, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 2: Department of Public Health Sciences, GKT School of Medicine, King's College London, London, UK

Publication date: 1999-03-01

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