Getting asthma under control


It might be a surprise to find out that the most common chronic illness in children is asthma.

The team at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital wants to help everyone breathe

easier. Today we have Dr. John Schuen here to talk about the services they provide to keep asthma under control. Asthma is the leading, chronic condition in children in the United States. It is the largest contributor for school absences and causes more emergency room visits than any other chronic illness.

What are some things that can trigger asthma?

– Asthma itself is partially inherited, but triggers include many environmental factors

– Environmental triggers: pollen, air pollution, pet dander, seasonal allergies

– During or after exercise

– Low birth weight, second-hand smoke, frequent respiratory infections can cause asthma

What are some of the symptoms of asthma attacks we should be aware of?

– Chest tightness  the airway’s linings will start to become swollen

– Wheezing, persistent cough

– Shortness of breath

– Noisy breathing

When should a physician or specialist become involved?

– Symptoms continue to get worse before or after an attack

– Your child experiences new or worse trouble breathing

– Fever develops or they are coughing up brown/bloody mucus (sputum)

– We work closely with other providers (allergist, immunologists, gastrologists) to provide

well-rounded care

What does the team at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital do to help kids with asthma?

– Nationally-ranked pediatric pulmonology team

– Team includes pediatric pulmonology dietitians, respiratory therapists, psychologists and

medical social workers to help manage all levels of need

– Only pediatric pulmonary function testing lab in West Michigan

Pediatric Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine

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