Objective: Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood and has a high prevalence, morbidity and mortality. Acute asthma attacks are the most significant factor in the determination of the mortality and morbidity of asthma. The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk factors, clinical characteristics and the response of treatment of asthma attacks in children.
Patients and Methods: Between January 2008 and January 2009, the clinical characteristics and laboratory findings of 40 children with asthma attack were evaluated.
Results: Of 40 children consisting of the study group, 23 were boys and 17 were girls. Mean age was found to be 7.8 ± 1.9 years. While the most significant risk factors causing attacks were determined as infections and exposure to cigarette smoking, coughing was found as the most frequent symptom during attacks. The severity of the asthma attacks as follows: mild attacks in 20 (50%), moderate attacks in 18 (45%) and severe attacks in 2 (5%) of the patients, respectively. According to the severity of the attacks and response to the treatment, systemic steroid therapy was required in the treatment of 16 (40%) patients while 24 patients improved only with oxigen and short-acting bronchodilator. After the treatment in the emergency unit, 34 (85%) patients were discharged to home and 4 (10%) were hospitalized in the department of pediatrics and 2 (5%) into the intensive care unit.
Conclusion: The determination of the risk factors of acute exacerbation is very important to reduce the frequency and the severity of the asthma attacks. We think that the education of the family is necessary to prevent the children with asthma from exposure to smoking and infections.