As the region's Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center, Children's Hospital's pediatric pulmonologists and highly trained pediatric staff include respiratory therapists and staff educators. We want to ensure that families can identify asthma symptoms and know how to react when they occur. It is crucial that families have the knowledge needed to encourage better conversations about their symptoms with their doctors. Children's Hospital's asthma screening and education program helps build awareness of the symptoms and address the health issues of those who are screened. For more information about the Breathe Easy Asthma Screening Program, call Children's Hospital at (865) 541-8165.
The Knoxville metro area is the 10th-most challenging place in the nation to live with asthma, as reported by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in 2013. Undiagnosed asthma not only puts a child at risk for severe asthma attacks but can also complicate other conditions. Screening and education are critical components in identifying asthma and reducing the impact this disease has on children and families. Knowledge and awareness are the first keys to diagnosis.
Our asthma screening events include a symptom questionnaire, a pulmonary function test and asthma education. The tests are performed by qualified Respiratory Therapists and interpreted by a Pulmonary Nurse Practitioner or Pulmonologist. Each person tested will receive their screening results. If test results suggest that follow-up is needed, the screening results will be sent home along with information about symptoms, screenings and best responses to an acute attack. The results will also be sent to the child's primary care physician. While tests are being interpreted, the children will also learn about concerning asthma symptoms, the importance of testing and how to respond if they witness an asthma attack.
Those who receive abnormal test results have the opportunity to be followed by a nurse from Children's Hospital. The parents of each child will receive a telephone call to answer any questions about the test. These calls will help encourage appropriate medical follow up and provide support for parents. The nurses who provide this service are trained in asthma and will be available to address symptoms and answer any questions the parent may have.
Breathe Easy is sponsored by the East Tennessee Foundation's Respiratory Disease Fund.