August 7, 2000
Asthma is the single most common reason for visiting the Pediatric Emergency Department at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, and a leading cause of school absenteeism. Now, the Children's Center is bringing a mobile asthma clinic to East Baltimore schools to assess children's risk for the disease, and provide treatment, education and prevention strategies.
Hopkins researchers have found that the hallmarks of poverty – stress, poor nutrition, poor medical management – complicated by such environmental asthma triggers as dampness, mold and cockroaches make children living in urban areas more prone to asthma attacks. The research is borne out by statistics: About 2,000 children are treated annually for asthma at the Children's Center's Emergency Department. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAF), children miss 10 million school days each year due to asthma.
Sponsored by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation in partnership with the Baltimore City Public School System and Baltimore City Health Department, the Breathmobile will be staffed by a Johns Hopkins pediatrician who specializes in asthma management and prevention, a nurse, and a social worker who will work with parents, children and school officials to assess children's health and develop appropriate asthma management strategies. Children will receive a complete medical assessment with a parent or guardian present, medication will be provided when necessary, and progress will be monitored through follow up Breathmobile visits in collaboration with school health nurses.
The Breathmobile will be officially unveiled at City Hall on Tuesday, August 29 at 11:30 a.m. Children's Center faculty will be available for interviews. Additional media tours will be held on Wednesday, August 30 at the following locations. Children's Center faculty and patients will be available for interviews:
1 to 3 p.m.: Port Discovery Kids' Museum, Inner Harbor. Tour for parents & children.
4 to 6 p.m.: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Broadway Street entrance. Media trucks may park on Broadway between Caroline and E. Monument streets.