Pulmonary function testing in the emergency department and medications prescribed at discharge: results of the Multinational Acute asthma Management, Burden, and Outcomes (MAMBO) study

Prim Care Respir J. 2010 Jun;19(2):155-62. doi: 10.4104/pcrj.2010.00005.


Aims: To evaluate asthma care in the emergency department (ED), including use of pulmonary function testing (PFT) and how patients are treated when discharged.

Methods: Internet-based surveys were completed by 298 healthcare practitioners in seven countries on 1078 patients 15-70 years old with an acute asthma exacerbation.

Results: Less than 60% of patients received guideline-recommended therapy with a bronchodilator, corticosteroid, and supplemental oxygen. Patients undergoing PFT had significantly more courses of asthma therapy (2.3 vs 1.7; p < 0.001), and received more medications (5.7 vs 3.9; p < 0.001). At discharge, 17.9% of patients did not receive a prescription asthma medication and 12.8% did not receive a physician referral. Men (p<0.022), patients with more severe disease (p<0.0001), and those seen by a pulmonologist (p<0.0001), were more likely to be treated.

Conclusions: Management of patients with acute asthma exacerbations diverged from guideline recommendations. Enhanced adherence to guidelines could lead to improved outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge
  • Respiratory Function Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents