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By Austin Sheeley
Throughout New York City, the number of kids being hospitalized due to asthma attacks is falling fast, despite the fact that asthma prevalence is on the rise not only there, but across the nation and worldwide. So why the decrease in hospital visits? Parents are doing a better job of helping their kids control their asthma, thanks to medical providers, hospitals, and schools providing more and better asthma education.
From 2000 to 2010, child asthma hospitalizations in New York City fell 23% overall. Some areas are doing better than others. For example, in Brooklyn hospitalizations only fell 20% and in the South Bronx they fell a mere 5.5%. But in East and Central Harlem, an area served by the East Harlem Asthma Center of Excellence, hospitalizations have fallen a whopping 37%.
The Asthma Center helps parents coordinate their child’s asthma care by making sure their child has been properly diagnosed, making sure their medications are good, and, when possible, going into family’s homes to point out asthma triggers that could be fixed.
One parent the center has helped is Ayliphelet Ramirez, mother of two, who used to have to rush her daughter to the emergency room due to asthma attacks on a semi-regular basis. Ramirez was frustrated and her daughter was missing a ton of school days. But then, they were referred to the Asthma Center. After being connected with an asthma specialist, her daughter’s condition improved and Ramirez hasn’t had to make another hospital visit since. According to her, “I’m very well stocked at home. I have medication and their nebulizer machines, and I have their spacers. Also, they have the asthma action plan at school as well.”
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