Parental Preference for Short- Versus Long-Course Corticosteroid Therapy in Children With Asthma Presenting to the Pediatric Emergency Department

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Abstract

Asthma is the most common chronic condition affecting children and a prominent chief complaint in pediatric emergency departments (ED). We aimed to determine parental preference between short- and long-term courses of oral corticosteroids for use in children with mild to moderate asthma presenting to our pediatric ED with acute asthma exacerbations. We surveyed parents of asthmatic children who presented to our pediatric ED from August 2011 to April 2012. Questions characterized each patient's asthma severity, assessed parental preference among systemic steroid and inhaled medication delivery options for acute asthma management, and inquired about compliance, medication costs, and intention to follow up. The majority of our parents prefer the use of 1 to 2 days of steroids to 5 days for acute asthma exacerbations in the ED. Thus, dexamethasone is an attractive alternative to prednisone/prednisolone and should be considered in the management of acute asthma exacerbations in the ED.

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