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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.

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: March 1, 1999

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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