ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-18

The determinants of emergency room visits and missed school days in children with asthma in a tertiary hospital in north central Nigeria


1 Department of Paediatrics, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Jos University Teaching Hospital/University of Jos, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrics, Bayero University/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Helen O Akhiwu
Department of Paediatrics, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Lamingo, Permanent site
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jomt.jomt_18_19

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Background: Asthma is a major cause of emergency room visits and missed school days. However, the magnitude of this problem in Nigeria is yet to be evaluated. This study assessed the number of emergency room visits, missed school days as well as identified their determinants. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out in the Paediatric Respiratory Clinic and the Emergency Paediatrics Unit of a tertiary hospital. The number of missed school days and emergency room visits were calculated and extrapolated for the estimated population of children with asthma in the state. Results: A total of 60 children with a male to female ratio of 1: 0.6 were studied. There were an estimated 5.3 million missed school days and over 460,000 emergency room visits per year for children with asthma in Plateau state. The commonest reasons for emergency room visits were severe acute exacerbation, poor knowledge of self-management and non-response to inhaled bronchodilators while the duration of asthma diagnosis, family member with atopy, family history of asthma and exercise intolerance were the determinants of emergency room visits and missed school days. Conclusion: With 5.3 million missed school days and over 460,000 emergency room visits in a year, asthma is a disease of significant public health importance. Self-management at home must be well taught at the beginning to all the patients. Care givers and patients need to know when they need to seek for help and not wait till the acute exacerbations are severe before presenting to the hospital.


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