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In Reply.—I am appreciative of the comments of Drs Newcomb and Akhter, and I echo their opinions regarding quantitative measurements of pulmonary function. All too often physicians try to invent clinical shortcuts, such as scoring systems, that invariably lack accuracy or applicability in a significant portion of patients. Objective measures, tempered with an individual patient's clinical attributes, yield the best prognostic guide for these children. I am hopeful that science will catch up with our management of this most common pulmonary disorder.
Our opinions do, however, differ in one regard. It is my belief that it is feasible to determine, in some way, those admitted children who require less than 24 hours of hospitalization. If these children are able to be identified before admission, they could conceivably be hospitalized in a less-expensive short-stay unit, thereby reducing their hospital costs. It would seem that such a method of identification would
BAKER MD. Asthma Scoring Systems-Reply. Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(8):811. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150080016003