Objective: To describe the approach to asthma exacerbations in a primary care centre in comparison with current guidelines and to ascertain the resolution of the episodes. Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive study was performed in asthmatic patients over 14 years old who were consulting for asthma exacerbations in a primary care centre during a 6-month period. The treatment given and the resolution obtained were evaluated. Results: One hundred and twenty-three asthma exacerbations were registered, corresponding to 96 patients. A total of 74% were mild exacerbations, 24.4% moderate and 1.6% severe. The severity of asthma correlated directly with the severity of exacerbations. The frequency of resolution was 98.4%, with an average duration of medical attention of 30 min (SD 16.5). According to guidelines, 60.2% of the mild exacerbations were well treated, as were 26.7% of the moderate exacerbations and none of the severe episodes. Peak expiratory flow was measured in 54.5% of patients. In 82 cases (66.6%) salbutamol was given with a large-volume spacer chamber. Treatment after discharge was correct in 27.3% of the mild and 23.3% of the moderate exacerbations. A total of 23 (23.9%) patients presented more than one exacerbation during the study period. Conclusions: Most exacerbations seen in primary care are mild. Administration of salbutamol was sufficient for the resolution of these exacerbations. However, treatment after discharge was not compliant with guidelines in most cases. The primary care team was able to resolve most of the asthma exacerbations. © 2011, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
- primary care