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Original Research: Asthma |

Improved Management of Acute Asthma Among Pregnant Women Presenting to the EDAcute Asthma Care in Pregnant Women

Kohei Hasegawa, MD, MPH; Rita K. Cydulka, MD; Ashley F. Sullivan, MPH; Mark I. Langdorf, MD; Stephanie A. Nonas, MD; Richard M. Nowak, MD, MBA; Nancy E. Wang, MD; Carlos A. Camargo, Jr, MD, DrPH
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Emergency Medicine (Drs Hasegawa and Camargo, and Ms Sullivan), Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; the Department of Emergency Medicine (Dr Cydulka), MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH; the Department of Emergency Medicine (Dr Langdorf), University of California Irvine Medical Center, Orange, CA; the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (Dr Nonas), Oregon Health and Science University Hospital, Portland, OR; the Department of Emergency Medicine (Dr Nowak), Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI; and the Department of Emergency Medicine (Dr Wang), Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Kohei Hasegawa, MD, MPH, Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, 326 Cambridge St, Ste 410, Boston, MA 02114; e-mail: khasegawa1@partners.org


FUNDING/SUPPORT: This study was funded by a grant from Novartis to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2015;147(2):406-414. doi:10.1378/chest.14-1874
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BACKGROUND:  A multicenter study in the late 1990s demonstrated suboptimal emergency asthma care for pregnant women in US EDs. After a decade, follow-up data are lacking. We aimed to examine changes in emergency asthma care of pregnant women since the 1990s.

METHODS:  We combined data from four multicenter observational studies of ED patients with acute asthma performed in 1996 to 2001 (three studies) and 2011 to 2012 (one study). We restricted the data so that comparisons were based on the same 48 EDs in both time periods. We identified all pregnant patients aged 18 to 44 years with acute asthma. Primary outcomes were treatment with systemic corticosteroids in the ED and, among those sent home, at ED discharge.

RESULTS:  Of 4,895 ED patients with acute asthma, the analytic cohort comprised 125 pregnant women. Between the two time periods, there were no significant changes in patient demographics, chronic asthma severity, or initial peak expiratory flow. In contrast, ED systemic corticosteroid treatment increased significantly from 51% to 78% across the time periods (OR, 3.11; 95% CI, 1.27-7.60; P = .01); systemic corticosteroids at discharge increased from 42% to 63% (OR, 2.49; 95% CI, 0.97-6.37; P = .054). In the adjusted analyses, pregnant women in recent years were more likely to receive systemic corticosteroids, both in the ED (OR, 4.76; 95% CI, 1.63-13.9; P = .004) and at discharge (OR, 3.18; 95% CI, 1.05-9.61; P = .04).

CONCLUSIONS:  Between the two time periods, emergency asthma care in pregnant women significantly improved. However, with one in three pregnant women being discharged home without systemic corticosteroids, further improvement is warranted.


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