It is easy to make mistakes with asthma meds, because there are lots of things to remember. That is why the Breathmobile staff takes their time in explaining every medicine, how to take the medicine, and how to take care of the medicine. That is why it is SO important to have an asthma action plan at home, at school, at the doctors.
If you follow it, your child WILL get better. However, often parents with asthmatic children do not or cannot go to doctors that take the time to show them how to use asthma meds and spacers, and sometimes allergies are not identified, or wrong medicines are given. When the small things are fixed, huge differences and improvements are made. Sometimes its just a matter of using a spacer, or making sure that the pills are taken everyday.
We came across a study today that concerned us, but also one that is a good example of how asthma is often misunderstood. School officials, parents, doctors- a lot of people make mistakes around asthma. According to an article by Monifa Thomas, antibiotics are being incorrectly prescribed to asthmatic children everyday.
Nearly one million, one in six children, are prescribed antibiotics- this is not in accordance with national asthma treatment guidelines. Sometimes doctors who do not specialize in asthma confuse asthma with other respiratory conditions, such as pneumonia. Several doctors were interviewed in the study, who said that that they were speaking to patients every week, who were being prescribed antibiotics for asthma.
Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. Asthma is not a bacterial infection. The results of studies that tested the use of antibiotics for asthma were mixed, and current asthma guidelines do not recommend their use for asthma treatment. A child should really only be prescribed antiobiotics if they have a bacterial infection such as pneumonia or sinusitis.
As a matter of fact, treating an asthmatic patient with antibiotics can be dangerous. The asthma will not get better, and the child could have an increase in the risk of antibiotic resistance. When a child does need an antibiotic, their body might not respond to it. Children can develop allergies or other side effects to the antibiotic, and prescriptions cost money!
According to the article, a way to reduce the overuse of antibiotics is through patient education! Education is a major achievement of the Breathmobile!