Asthma: When Hospitalization is required

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Guest: Dr. Ronald J. Teufel - Pediatric Hospitalist

Host: Dr. Linda Austin – Psychiatrist

Announcer: Welcome to an MUSC Health Podcast.Dr. Linda Austin:I am Dr. Linda Austin and I am talking with Dr. Ronald Teufel, who is a Pediatric?Hospitalist with a special interest in asthma. Dr. Teufel, we know that asthma is a chronic condition for kids and many kids do find without ever coming into hospital, why is it that some kids though do end up getting hospitalized for this condition?

Dr. Ronald J. Teufel: There are many reasons why children can get hospitalized with asthma. Primarily, it is a result of either of not appreciating how severe the child’s condition is and a lot of children may just cough and that may be their asthma. It’s hard to recognize that a cough is asthma. Most people just think it is a cold and oftentimes, some children, their disease is just so severe that they are not getting as much care outside of the hospital as needed and then they get such a severe condition and they end up in an emergency room and then subsequently in the hospital, but commonly, it is just a matter of getting preventive care to a child, getting that in a timely and efficient manner so that if they get their preventive care, there is much less likelihood that child will be hospitalized and ever be seen by a physician somewhat to myself.

Dr. Linda Austin: Tell us about the work that you are doing to try to help parents get better care to their children.

Dr. Ronald J. Teufel: At MUSC, our pediatric hospitalist group which is our physicians that specialize in care of hospitalized children, have really teamed up with our pediatric pulmonary group like Dr. Michael Bowman, and our goal is to get very effective high-quality care to children when they are hospitalized with asthma. Our concern is that a lot of children will be seen in emergency rooms and receive a lot of their care in emergency rooms and not really get to see and receive as much preventive care as possible. So what we typically do with our hospitalized asthmatics is we give them their acute care, their acute management that they need to get them better and get them through this episode, but we also begin to focus strongly on the preventive care of asthma while they are there. We have worked on a respiratory therapist to ensure that children get asthma education, the families get asthma education in recognizing the signs and symptoms of worsening disease and knowing which treatments the child is on and when to deliver those treatments and after we have begun this process of discussing preventive care for asthma, we deliver them back out into the community, so we deliver them back to their primary care physicians. We will also refer them into our Pediatric Pulmonary Clinic where they can continue to get the ongoing treatment of their condition.

Dr. Linda Austin: Thank you so much Dr. Teufel.

Dr. Ronald J. Teufel: Thank you.

Announcer: If you have any questions about the services or programs offered at the Medical University of South Carolina or if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, please call MUSC Health Connection at (843) 792-1414.

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