Meeting the demand for respiratory diagnostics in the wake of covid-19: Paediatric diagnostics
Misdiagnosis of asthma in school-age children is common when health care staff rely on clinical diagnosis alone. Both, under- and over-diagnosis are prevalent with important consequences for child and carer. Additionally, too many children on asthma medication are not coded as asthma. The use of objective tests to diagnose asthma in school-age children is important. Leaving the diagnosis unconfirmed frequently leads to poor care with delayed follow-up, poor medication management/adherence, lack of patient and parent/carer education and results in poor outcomes overall. The European Respiratory Society recently published evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis of asthma in children aged 5-16 years. These guidelines were strongly supported by a panel of patient representatives of the European Lung Foundation.
- The UK has the worst childhood asthma outcomes of any Western European country
- Confirming an asthma diagnosis is important for good disease management and to improve UK childhood asthma outcomes
- Carers and children with asthma prefer objective tests to confirm the diagnosis
- Spirometry, bronchodilator reversibility testing and FeNO are the first line objective tests to confirm an asthma diagnosis in school-age children