Kids’ in-school asthma program may expand soon
By Betsy Friauf
“Asthma 411” helps children avoid the emergency room and stay in school if they have an asthma attack.
The pilot program, a collaboration between UNT Health Science Center and Fort Worth Independent School District, was so successful that plans are being laid to expand it. FWISD, JPS Health Network and Cook Children’s are working toward using Asthma 411 in schools with the greatest need, with an eye to expanding it district-wide.
Nationally, 9.3 percent of children have asthma. In sad contrast, by age 9, one-quarter of Tarrant County kids are diagnosed with it.
The Asthma 411 project, which ended in 2015, allowed school nurses to keep breathing-treatment equipment in their office. With parents’ prior permission, the nurse could give kids a treatment during an asthma attack – preventing most 911 calls and emergency room visits for these children, and greatly reducing absences.
It changed the landscape for Forest Oak Middle School Nurse Andrea Smith.
“It often happens that even if a child has an inhaler, it’s been left at home or it’s empty,” she said. “When you have a child in your office gasping for breath while you wait for someone to arrive with an inhaler, or for a Medstar ambulance, you just hurt for them. It gave me peace of mind knowing I had an intervention to help the child.”
During the pilot at two schools, Eastern Hills Elementary and Forest Oak Middle, results were impressive:
- Calls to 911 for asthma emergencies fell from 19 to 1.
- Asthma-related absences dropped 51 percent.
Asthma 411 has earned national recognition as well. Spearheading the pilot was the UNTHSC Office of Professional and Continuing Education, which has been honored with national awards for Asthma 411 and has shared the program with health care professionals across the nation.
To learn more about Asthma 411, contact Andrew Crim, UNTHSC Executive Director of Professional and Continuing Education.
By Steven Bartolotta In 2007, TCOM’s Dr. Rita Patterson and Dr. Jennifer Wayne, a professor at Virginia Tech, recognized the need for women in the field of bioengineering to meet together, network, mentor and increase the representation of women in the field. Thus the ASME Bioengineering...Read more
Jun 23, 2021
A growing trove of data to help scientists understand the biology of Alzheimer’s disease among diverse populations within the context of sociocultural, behavioral and environmental factors is now available through the Institute for Translational Research at The University of North Te...Read more
Jun 22, 2021
By Diane Smith-Pinckney The embroidery on Vic Holmes’ black scrubs identify him as a physician assistant and an ally to LGBTQ+ patients. The words, stitched under a rainbow-colored Caduceus pin and near his heart, read: “Vic Holmes, PA-C, He/Him/His, Family Medicine.” Pronouns are...Read more
Jun 21, 2021
By Sally Crocker Katie Pelch, PhD, wants you to know what’s in our environment and how the chemicals we’re exposed to every day may affect our health. Dr. Pelch is a part-time Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, in the HSC School of Public Health (SPH), where...Read more
Jun 21, 2021