The specialist said that parents should be aware of the symptoms due to the arrival of Sahara Dust.
Dr. Wilfredo de Jesus, pediatric pulmonologist. Photo: provided by Dr. De Jesus to the Journal of Medicine and Public Health.
Environmental conditions are factors. determinants of asthmatic processes in patients, as stated by Dr. Wilfredo de Jesus, a pediatric pulmonologist, who emphasized in an exclusive interview with the Journal of Medicine and Public Health that “Sahara dust, since we know Puerto Rico, is one of the elements that impairs asthma attacks. We have to have filters, masks and indoors. ”
The pediatric pulmonologist said that hot flushes and high temperatures are also another element that exacerbates the symptoms of asthma attacks, “so it’s important to stay hydrated during these highs.”
He clarified that the combination of high temperatures, Saharan dust, spores and COVID-19 are the perfect storm for children to be in the emergency department and to avoid this it is necessary to have medicines“Because if you don’t medicines to save, contact your doctor, pediatrician or pulmonologist to get your medicine to use when you have an asthma attack. ‘
Another important aspect he pointed out was the expiration date of the drug, in which sense he pointed out that it is necessary for parents and representatives to check and not wait to be very close to the expiration date, “because they have to look for the drug for have it now, fast “.
He reminded that there are medicines that help with daily maintenance. “When the patient does not respond to these therapies, the doses may be increased. If the patient is not monitored, he or she may be given another family of medicines or injectables, known as biologics, that rule out the body’s reaction to exacerbations.
He pointed out that before using any medicine or applying a change, it is important to know if the patient has:
* Appropriate weight
* Allergies (to fungi, mites, pets)
* Sleep apnea
* Consume on medicines indicated
Asthma diagnosis process
“Except history and physical examinationthere are tests for lung function and depending on the classification we will use medicines which are available for the treatment of the patient “, explained the doctor.
The doctor added that there are two types of medications known as escape and maintenance, and the difference is in using them at the right time, “there is when we talk about the asthma action plan that helps us know when to use these. drugs?
In essence, these drugs, as the pulmonologist explains, do what they do to reduce inflammation so that when viruses or bacteria arrive, the patient does not have an asthma attack at work or school.
However, Dr. Wilfredo de Jesus warned that although rare, they have found some patients allergic to medicinesalthough it is possible to use other drugs that help control asthma in this population.
He also reminded that asthma is a chronic disease that inflames the airways and the smaller ones make it difficult for the child to breathe. Symptoms include dry cough, shortness of breath. “It’s important to identify these signs and symptoms, because failing to do so puts the patient’s life at risk.”
He warned that screening is the first barrier to exacerbating asthma symptoms in pediatric patients. “Because diagnostic tests allow us to determine whether asthma is mild, moderate or severe.”
COVID-19 in children
The pediatric pulmonologist pointed out that COVID-19, like other viruses, attacks our respiratory system from the upper respiratory tract, with symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, sore throat, but can also cause a respiratory infection affecting a patient with bronchitis. or pneumonia; And these are the things we want to avoid.
“It is important to be vaccinated, to use the mask, to distance yourself as long as possible, and in this way we will prevent COVID-19, even with the options that appear along the way, from further affecting our children’s asthma.”
Studies in Puerto Rico and other countries have shown that a patient with asthma does not have to be as ill as those without asthma. “Even many patients have mild, moderate or no symptoms and this is beneficial, but in the same way it is still important to avoid contact and protect yourself because the consequences can be significant.”
He said he had had patients who, after six positive months for COVID-19, still had symptoms such as fatigue, tiredness, reduced tasks or the ability to exercise. In summary, it is important to avoid infection so that there are no short-term and long-term consequences, “especially now that we have so many infections” on the Island.
We do not know how most children will react, some have mild or no symptoms, but there is a percentage that, depending on comorbidities, causes additional symptoms and may cause the patient to go to the emergency department, including COVID-19 may cause an asthma attack.
For this reason, he advises parents, if they have symptoms, to test the child and consult a doctor about the treatment available for this condition, while warning that the use of asthma medications should never be stopped. . if you are infected with COVID-19, because it is part of the treatment, because some have been added to help control asthma.
The booster will depend on the patient’s age, “we know we currently have a booster dose of 5 years, after 12 years additional vaccines are being considered. However, it is always important to discuss the vaccination schedule with your doctor and take into account the child’s specific needs. .
In general, most patients tolerate vaccines well and side effects may be minimal or non-existent. In the same way, he emphasized the vaccination scheme, which is also an aid in the process of protecting the health of minors.
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