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J Pediatr. 2001 Aug;139(2):273-7.

Predictors of hospitalization in children with acute asthma.

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  • 1Division of Emergency Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To identify predictors of long duration of bronchodilator therapy in children with acute asthma.


An emergency department prospective cohort study of 278 children > or =12 months of age, with clinical and socioeconomic parameters collected at baseline and 4 hours after administration of corticosteroids. Patients were classified into short and long therapy groups, with interval from first albuterol dose to initiation of administration every 4 hours < or =12 or >12 hours, respectively. Predictors significant by univariate analysis were examined by multiple logistic regression.


Five variables were associated with long therapy (n = 85) versus short therapy (n = 193): previous intensive care unit admission (odds ratio [OR] 7.2, 95% CI = 1.85, 27.7); baseline oxygen saturation < or =92% (OR 2.6, 95% CI = 0.89, 7.4), asthma score > or =6/9 (OR 2.9, 95% CI = 1.9, 4.37), oxygen saturation < or =92% (OR 6.6, 95% CI = 1.34, 32.0), and hourly albuterol dosing interval (OR 4.3, 95% CI = 0.82, 22.12) 4 hours after administration of corticosteroids. Probability of long therapy was 91.8% to 99% for > or =3 predictors, but only 40.6% to 61.8% for individual factors.


A combination of 3 or more factors predicts long bronchodilator therapy and signals the need for hospitalization. Children with only one predictor can be safely treated in the emergency department or observation unit and reevaluated.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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