Publication Date



Pediatric Emergency Care


BACKGROUND: Respiratory-related complaints prompt most pediatric visits to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority's (KHMHA) Emergency Department (ED) in Belize. We developed and taught a novel pediatric respiratory emergencies module for generalist practitioners there. We assessed the curriculum's clinical impact on pediatric asthma emergency management.

OBJECTIVE: This study assesses the clinical impact of a pediatric emergency medicine curriculum on management of pediatric asthma emergencies at KHMHA in Belize City, Belize.

METHODS: We conducted a randomized chart review of pediatric (aged 2-16 y) visits for asthma-related diagnosis at the KHMHA ED between 2015 and 2018 to assess the training module's clinical impact. Primary outcomes included time to albuterol and steroids. Secondary outcomes included clinical scoring tool (Pediatric Respiratory Assessment Measure [PRAM]) usage, ED length of stay, usage of chest radiography, return visit within 7 days, and hospital admission rates. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazard regression were used.

RESULTS: Two hundred eighty-three pediatric asthma-related diagnoses met our inclusion criteria. The patients treated by trained and untrained physician groups were demographically and clinically similar. The time to albuterol was significantly faster in the trained (intervention) group compared with the untrained (control) physician group when evaluating baseline of the group posttraining (P < 0.05). However, the time to steroids did not reach statistical significance posttraining (P = 0.93). The PRAM score utilization significantly increased among both control group and intervention group. The untrained physician group was more likely to use chest radiography or admit patients. The trained physician group had higher return visit rates within 7 days and shorter ED length of stay, but this did not reach statistical significance.

CONCLUSIONS: The curriculum positively impacted clinical outcomes leading to earlier albuterol administration, increased PRAM score use, obtaining less chest radiographs, and decreased admission rates. The timeliness of systemic steroid administration was unaffected.


asthma, educational initiative, outcomes, Belize, beta agonist, steroid



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