Asthma is the most common chronic respiratory illness in children. It affects 5-10% of all children in the United States, and accounts for the majority of missed school days. It is estimated that approximately one third of emergency department visits are related to asthma and that it is the most common reason for hospital admissions in children. Statistics show that the prevalence of asthma has been on the rise over the past 15-20 years, and that this trend continues. Although asthma cannot be cured and may be a life-threatening illness, it can be very well controlled with proper medication and education. The goals of asthma therapy are to have children lead normal, active lives, and prevent the occurrence of frequent troublesome symptoms or the need for emergency visits and hospitalization.
To achieve these goals here at Yale, all groups who have participated in the care of any aspect of the child's asthma work together as a team. This team, the Pediatric Asthma Care Team (PACT) includes pediatricians and pediatric pulmonologists, allergists, emergency room physicians, intensivists, and nurse practitioners. This approach ensures that the lines of communication remain open between these various health care professionals, so that any changes in the child's asthma care plan are known to all, thus avoiding redundancy or deficiencies in therapy and confusion on the part of the patient and family and referring pediatrician. To further support these efforts the program has collaborated with Dr. Richard Shiffman, M.D., to develop an electronic medical record with decision support that is accessible to Yale physicians caring for children with asthma.
The PACT and Pediatric Asthma Program are directed by Alia Bazzy-Asaad, MD.