Severity and associated triggers for acute asthma attack in patients presenting to the emergency department of the Bertha Gxowa hospital
Kabundji, Dalton Mulombe
Background: Many avoidable triggers lead to uncontrolled asthma and subsequent Emergency Department (ED) visits. The aim of this study was to determine the severity of and potential associated triggers for acute asthma attack in patients presenting to the ED of the Bertha Gxowa Hospital (BGH). Methods: Prospective cross-sectional study. Data from 239 patients managed between February 2015 and April 2015 was collected through a survey questionnaire and analysed. The Chi-square test or Fisher Exact Test was used to test the associations between variables and acute asthma severity. Bivariate logistic regression was used to ascertain factors and/or triggers associated with acute asthma attack. P-values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results: Overall, 239 patients were enrolled (139 males, 100 females, and median age 31 years). The majority of them had moderate acute asthma attack (52.72%). Active cigarette smoking (p < 0.001) and/or passive cigarette smoking (p = 0.004) were identified to be potential associated triggers for acute asthma attack. Low level of education (p < 0.001) was identified to be significant factor associated with acute asthma attack. There was no significant association between acute asthma attack severity and age (p = 0.592), gender (p = 0.240), race (p = 0.759), occupation status (p = 0.291), employment status (p = 0.268), type of housing (p = 0.982), acute respiratory infection (p = 0.818), use of medication-related asthma triggers (p = 0.942), knowledge of asthma allergens (p = 0.086), and stress or anxiety (p = 0.475). Conclusion: The study shows that the majority of patients presented with moderate acute asthma attack at the BGH ED. Active and/or passive cigarette smoking is a potential associated trigger for acute asthma attack. In addition, this study shows that low level of education is a significant factor associated with acute asthma attack.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Medicine in family Medicine 12th August 2016 in Johannesburg