Clinical characteristics of asthmatic patients who visited emergency room

J. K. Suh, Ra Lee So Ra Lee, Youb Lee Sang Youb Lee, Hwa Lee Sang Hwa Lee, Youn Cho Jae Youn Cho, Jeong Shim Jae Jeong Shim, Ho In Kwang Ho In, Ho Kang Kyung Ho Kang, Hwa Yoo Se Hwa Yoo

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Background: Despite remarkable progress of understanding the pathophysiology and therapy of bronchial asthma, asthma morbidity and mortality are on the rise. Also hospitalization and attending rates of emergency department for asthma have been increasing gradually. We analyzed clinical characteristics and prognosis of patients who visited emergency room due to asthma at tack in order to define clinical characteristics of these group of patients. Method: We reviewed 105 adult asthmatic patients who attended emergency department of Korea University Hospital between August 1995 and July 1996, retrospectively. Results: 103 patients(56 female, 47 males, mean age: 48.6 years) attended-68 self referral, 18 practitioner referral and 17 OPD transfer- and 86 patients(83.5%) were admitted. Attending emergency department was clearly more frequent in December(13.6%) and May(12.6%). Time lag between onset of asthmatic attack and arrival at the hospital was 14.2 ± 15.5 hour and initial peak expiratory flow rate was 166.7 ± 68.3 L/min.(43. 3% predicted). The commonest cause for visiting emergency room was aggravation of asthma due to upper respiratory tract infection in mild asthmatics. About half of them had history of previous ER visits. Their prognosis was not bad, but after discharge, about half of patients escaped from OPD follow-up. Conclusion: As a group they merit detailed attention and follow up arrangement. Clinician need to monitor and review the treatment plans, the medications, the patient's management technique, and the level of asthma control. For this group, plans for longer term treatment, including asthma education program and adjustment of overall treatment plan should be made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-297
Number of pages8
JournalTuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Bronchial asthma
  • Emergency Room

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Suh, J. K., So Ra Lee, R. L., Sang Youb Lee, Y. L., Sang Hwa Lee, H. L., Jae Youn Cho, Y. C., Jae Jeong Shim, J. S., Kwang Ho In, H. I., Kyung Ho Kang, H. K., & Se Hwa Yoo, H. Y. (1997). Clinical characteristics of asthmatic patients who visited emergency room. Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, 44(2), 290-297.