Pediatric Asthma Testing
Spirometry testing is a valuable tool used in assessing respiratory conditions such as asthma. Pediatric Associates uses this type of asthma testing to measure and calculate parameters surrounding respiratory function. The testing assists providers in diagnosing suspect asthma and managing diagnosed asthma.
If your child is diagnosed with asthma, spirometry testing is recommended. The test may be performed in conjunction with your child’s next well visit. In preparation for this visit, please bring all your child’s inhalers and spacers with you to your appointment. This medication may be used during testing in order to determine if your asthma is controlled well with the medication.
Instructions will be given for your child to blow into the spirometer. The patient will be asked to take the deepest breath they can, and then blow into the sensor as hard as possible, for as long as possible. This will be repeated for a total of three times. Depending upon the cooperation of the individual, more tries may be necessary. An inhaler or nebulizer treatment will then be administered to the patient. Afterwards, a time span of fifteen minutes must elapse after the medication is taken or the treatment is received. Once this time has elapsed, the patient will again be asked to take the deepest breath they can, and then blow into the sensor as hard as possible, for as long as possible. This will again be repeated for a total of three times. Depending upon the cooperation of the individual, more tries may be necessary. Pre-Medication respiratory measurements and Post-Medication respiratory measurements will be compared and read by the provider. This is the information that enables your provider to select the right medication and determine the proper dose of medication to keep your child’s asthma condition in check. Asthma severity levels, particularly in children, can change over time, so reassessments need to take place on an ongoing basis to verify an individual child’s present asthma severity.
Note: Asthma Testing can take up to an additional 45 minutes. If you plan on having your child take this test in conjunction with their well child visit, please plan on remaining at the office for approximately an hour and a half. You may wish to contact your insurance carrier in advance and inquire about out of pocket expenses. This test may be applied to your deductible depending on your individual insurance plan.
Asthma Action Plans
An Asthma Action Plan will also be documented based on the results of the testing and/or at your child’s well child visits. An asthma action plan is a written plan that each provider will modify to adapt to your child’s needs. Your child’s plan describes how to control asthma long term AND how to handle worsening asthma, or attacks. The plan explains when to call Pediatric Associates at (207) 784-5782 or seek emergency services. If your child has asthma, all of the people who care for him or her should know about the child’s asthma action plan. These caregivers include babysitters, workers at daycare centers, teachers at schools, and counselors at camps. These caretakers can help your child follow his or her action plan.
Asthma Control Surveys
In an effort to assess your child’s asthma and how controlled it is, the practice hands out quick surveys for child to fill out at their well child visits.
The Childhood Asthma Control Test is a survey handed out to patients ages 4 to 11. It is a tool used to help providers determine if your child’s asthma symptoms are under control. Based on patient responses, the provider may suggest a variety of options to help better manage your child’s asthma.
The Asthma Control Test (ACT™) is a five question health survey used to measure asthma control in individuals 12 years of age and older. Based on patient responses, the provider may suggest a variety of options to help better manage your child’s asthma.