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Nebulizers or pressurized metered-dose inhalers in the treatment of asthma exacerbations

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The use of inhaled 2-agonists delivered by a metered-dose inhaler (MDI) with a holding chamber (spacer) actually is considered the best treatment for childhood acute asthma. However, its use in daily practice still seems rather limited. The aim of this study was to investigate, using a questionnaire, the use of a nebulizer or MDI as the first-line method for delivering inhaled 2-agonists in children with acute asthma. A questionnaire was developed and distributed to 22 pediatric departments and to 131 family pediatricians (FPs) in northeast Italy. We showed that in the hospitals the episodes of acute asthma usually were treated with bronchodilators administered by wet nebulization (95.45%). This was the case also for FPs (70.9%). However, 29.1% of FPs usually advised the use of an MDI/holding chamber to children with acute asthma. Despite the established efficacy of inhaled 2-agonists administrated with an MDI compared with wet nebulization in acute asthma, this practice still is rather limited. The use of wet nebulization was more evident in hospital settings compared with community medicine. Emergency room visits may represent a missed opportunity to promote an effective method of delivering bronchodilators in childhood asthma.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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