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Vol. 47. Issue 3.
Pages 282-288 (May - June 2019)
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Vol. 47. Issue 3.
Pages 282-288 (May - June 2019)
Original Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.aller.2018.10.003
Treatment, outcomes and costs of asthma exacerbations in Chilean children: a prospective multicenter observational study
A.M. Herreraa,b,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, P. Brandc, G. Cavadad, A. Koppmanne,f, M. Rivase, J. Mackenneyg,f, H. Sepúlvedah, M.E. Wevarh, L. Cruzath, S. Sotoi, M.A. Péreza, A. Leóna, I. Contrerasj, C. Alvarezk,l, B. Walkerk,l, C. Floresm, V. Lezanan, C. Garridon, M.E. Herrerao, A. Rojaso, C. Andradesp, E. Chalaq,b, R.A. Martínezq, M. Vegar, J.A. Perilláns,f, H. Seguels, I. Przybyzsweskis
a Santa María Clinic, Santa María 500, Santiago, Zip Code 7520378 Región Metropolitana, Chile
b School of Medicine, Los Andes University, Monseñor Alvaro del Portillo 12455, Santiago, Zip Code 7620001 Región Metropolitana, Chile
c Isala Women's and Children's Hospital, Zwolle, The Netherlands
d School of Medicine, Finis Terrae University, Av Providencia 1509, Santiago, Zip Code 7501015 Región Metropolitana, Chile
e San Borja Arriarán Hospital, Av Santa Rosa 1234, Santiago, Zip Code 8360160 Región Metropolitana, Chile
f School of Medicine, University of Chile, Chile
g Roberto del Río Hospital, Av Profesor Zañartu 1085, Santiago, Zip Code 8380418 Región Metropolitana, Chile
h Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital, Av Antonio Varas 360, Santiago, Zip Code 7500539 Región Metropolitana, Chile
i Concepción Regional Hospital, San Martín 1436, Concepción, Zip Code 4070038 Región del Bío Bío, Chile
j Padre Hurtado Hospital, Esperanza 2150, Santiago, Zip Code 8880465 Región Metropolitana, Chile
k Alemana Clinic, Av Vitacura 5951, Santiago, Zip Code 7650568 Región Metropolitana, Chile
l School of Medicine, Desarrollo University, Av Las Condes 12496, Santiago, Zip Code 7590943 Región Metropolitana, Chile
m Ovalle Hospital, Ariztía Pte. 7, Ovalle, Zip Code 1842054 Región de Coquimbo, Chile
n Gustavo Fricke Hospital, Av Alvarez 1532, Viña del Mar, Zip Code 2570017 Región de Valparaíso, Chile
o José Joaquín Aguirre Hospital, Santos Dumont 999, Santiago, Zip Code 8380456 Región Metropolitana, Chile
p Valdivia Hospital, Coronel Santiago Bueras y Avaria 1003, Valdivia, Zip Code 5090146 Región de los Ríos, Chile
q Fusat Hospital, Carretera el Cobre Presidente Frei Montalva 1002, Zip Code 2820945 Rancagua, VI Región, Chile
r Leonardo Guzmán Hospital, Veintiuno de Mayo 1310, Zip Code 1271847 Antofagasta, Región de Antofagasta, Chile
s San Juan De Dios Hospital, Huérfanos 3255, Zip Code 8350488 Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
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Tables (5)
Table 1. Hospitalized patients with asthma exacerbation.
Table 2. Asthma exacerbation in the public and private health systems.
Table 3. Asthma exacerbation in hospitals from different geographic zones.
Table 4. Asthma exacerbations. Infectious agents isolated.
Table 5. Asthma exacerbations. Follow up six months after discharge.
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To describe potential regional variations in therapies for severe asthma exacerbations in Chilean children and estimate the associated health expenditures.


Observational prospective cohort study in 14 hospitals over a one-year period. Children five years of age or older were eligible for inclusion. Days with oxygen supply and pharmacological treatments received were recorded from the clinical chart. A basic asthma hospitalization basket was defined in order to estimate the average hospitalization cost for a single patient. Six months after discharge, new visits to the Emergency Room (ER), use of systemic corticosteroids and adherence to the controller treatment were evaluated.


396 patients were enrolled. Patients from the public health system and from the north zone received significantly more days of oxygen, systemic corticosteroids and antibiotics. Great heterogeneity in antibiotic use among the participating hospitals was found, from 0 to 92.3% (ICC 0.34, 95% CI 0.16–0.52). The use of aminophylline, magnesium sulfate and ketamine varied from 0 to 36.4% between the different Pediatric Intensive Care Units (ICC 0.353, 95% CI 0.010–0.608). The average cost per inpatient was of $1910 USD. 290 patients (73.2%) completed the follow-up six months after discharge. 76 patients (26.2%) were not receiving any controller treatment and nearly a fourth had new ER visits and use of systemic corticosteroids due to new asthma exacerbations.


Considerable practice variation in asthma exacerbations treatment was found among the participating hospitals, highlighting the poor outcome of many patients after hospital discharge, with an important health cost.

Asthma exacerbation
Asthma hospitalization
Asthma exacerbation treatment


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