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J Sch Nurs. 2002 Jun;18(3):128-37.

Asthma management: Part 1: An overview of the problem and current trends.

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  • 1Villa Maria School of Nursing, Gannon University, Erie, PA, USA.


Death rates from asthma have increased or remained stable over the past decade despite increased knowledge about the pathophysiology and improved treatment of the disease, a fact that is both puzzling and disconcerting. Some children with asthma experience severe and life-interfering exacerbations separated by long periods of normal lung function and no symptoms. Asthma management plans are developed by primary care providers and the family. School nurses implement and monitor the child's response to the plan. Therefore, the school nurse needs current information about asthma management. Part I of this two-part series describes the pathophysiology of asthma and the types, risk factors, and current trends in management of the disease. The role of the school nurse in asthma management is outlined, including how he or she can influence environmental factors that precipitate asthma symptoms or exacerbations. Part II will discuss the role of the school nurse in pharmacologic management of asthma. Complementary alternative medicine for asthma management will be described, as well as health teaching for the child with asthma and their family.

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