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Accident and emergency departments are still failing to assess asthma severity
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  • Published on:
    Peak Flow is rarely important in the decision to admit

    Dear Editor

    In my opinion, it is much more important in the decision to discharge a patient. It is relatively rare that I have not made a decision to admit a patient within the first 30 seconds of presentation of an asthma attack- the respiratory rate, the use of accessory muscles and the overall behaviour of the patient is much more important than a number on the peak flow meter. I find it much more worrying that t...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    There is more to assessing severity than PEFR

    Dear Editor

    The paper by Harvey and colleagues is a slightly overdramatic. In their audit they found that PEFR was not regularly recorded in the notes. However this does not mean that the assessment of patients is unsafe. Asthma severity as they point out is based on a number of physiological and clinical parameters. PEFR is used as a measure of severity but it has a severe limitations as it requires a good techniqu...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.