Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Key Points from the National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute's Expert Panel Report 2007 for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Asthma

1.  Confirm the diagnosis of asthma
2.  Assess control and severity of asthma
3. Measure lung function with spirometry
4.  Prescribe asthma medications based on the NHLBI's (latest) 2007 guidelines
5. Provide a symptom-based and/or peak flow-based written asthma action plan
6. Ensure adhere to the maintenance plan
7. Reassess the patient at regularly scheduled office visits
8. Reduce exposure to triggers (irritants, allergens)
9. Refer patients with less than optimally controlled asthma to an asthma specialist
If you go to your physician for care of what is suspected to be asthma, consider these points.  I think my patients as well as at most allergists follow these points, which is why allergists have such good outcomes with regard to asthma.  Not that there isn't room for improvement.  Check out the quality of your care.  It's up to you.  How many times have you personally or you've heard about something that got overlooked at a doctor's visit, until the patient took it upon themselves to ask questions.

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