In France, half of hospital admissions for asthma concern children and the rates of hospitalization, decreasing in adults, are stable in children. Most admissions for asthma exacerbation are avoidable with appropriate disease management. The objective of this study was to describe the characteristics of children admitted for asthma. The study was carried out in 14 pediatric units over 1 year. Children aged 3 years and over who were hospitalized for an asthma exacerbation were included. Data from 727 hospitalizations were collected. In 48% of the hospitalizations, children were 3-5 years old. Asthma was undiagnosed at the time of the admission in 27%. Among children with diagnosed asthma, 57% had already been admitted to the hospital for asthma exacerbation, 37% had been admitted to the hospital or emergency department during the last year, and the control of asthma in the previous month was unacceptable in 46%; 11% had received an oral and written self-management action plan. This study underlines the need to strengthen the efforts to encourage improvement of the therapeutic education of asthmatic children in order to decrease the risk of hospitalization for exacerbation of asthma.
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