In the News
Despite Efforts, ER Visits Spike in California Kids with Asthma
Children in California increasingly are flocking to emergency rooms for treatment of asthma, despite millions of dollars spent on programs to control the disease.
Statewide, the rates of ER visits for asthma symptoms rose by about 18 percent for California children ages 5 to 17 and by 6 percent for children under 5 between 2005 and 2012, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of the latest available rates by county.
In some parts of the state, especially the Central Valley, the increases were far higher. The rate of emergency room visits for children 5 and older more than doubled in rural Madera County and nearly doubled In Merced. In Sacramento County, they rose by 48 percent and in Los Angeles, the largest county in the nation, by 17 percent.
All told, more than 72,000 California children under 18 visited the ER for asthma in 2012. “There’s clearly more work to be done if this many kids are going to the emergency department,” said Anne Kelsey Lamb, director of the Regional Asthma Management and Prevention program of the Oakland-based Public Health Institute. “We know a lot about what works. We absolutely should be able to reduce the rates we’re seeing.”
Originally published by KQED