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Research Letter
August 2016

Pneumonia in Children Presenting to the Emergency Department With an Asthma Exacerbation

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Emergency Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 3Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 4Division of Hospital Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 5Division of Infectious Diseases, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(8):803-805. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0310

Asthma and pneumonia are 2 of the most common reasons children visit the emergency department.1 These conditions have overlapping features and can occur concomitantly. Subsequently, physicians often obtain chest radiographs to diagnose pneumonia in children with asthma, although less than 5% of children have pneumonia that can be radiographically confirmed (hereafter referred to as radiographic pneumonia).2 The consequences of the overuse of radiography include increased time in the hospital, unnecessary radiation exposure, increased costs, and inappropriate antibiotic use due to equivocal imaging findings.3 Given the high rate of normal chest radiographs and the consequences of unnecessary radiographs, more accurate criteria are needed to identify children with asthma who are at increased risk for pneumonia. This study aims to identify risk factors for pneumonia in children with asthma exacerbations.

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