Proper Care Keeps Child’s Asthma Attacks Under Control

Jimmy* had multiple unmet health needs—including asthma, ADHD, poor eyesight and more. Jimmy’s step father has been raising Jimmy and three other children by himself, while struggling with his own health limitations and a lack of transportation. The case manager at 9-year-old Jimmy’s school referred Jimmy to Healthy Learners to ensure he had access to necessary care.

At the time of the referral, Jimmy had lost his eyeglasses and was beyond time for his annual eye exam. He was in counseling for ADHD and being seen on a regular basis for his medication needs, but the family was not consistent in getting him to appointments and eventually his case was closed. Jimmy’s health care was sporadic at best.

Healthy Learners quickly assessed and addressed Jimmy’s  history of care. It was found that he had not received appropriate follow-up care for his asthma for more than seven months and that regular asthma medication was not being taken. He also had not had a well-child exam in nearly five years. Healthy Learners coordinated a well-child exam, where Jimmy was diagnosed with moderate uncontrolled asthma. The doctor prescribed multiple medications, including inhalers and steroids. Healthy Learners filled the prescriptions and met with the parent to explain how to administer the medications. When Jimmy continued to have breathing problems, charts were created by the Healthy Learners Student Services Coordinator to further assist both parent and child in managing the medications to ensure they were given when and how prescribed.

Throughout the fall, Jimmy continued to have asthma attacks, including one that required a trip to the emergency department, where Jimmy received respiratory care and a nebulizer to take home. The parent received education and assistance to understand how to use the nebulizer, and further encouragement to administer medications as ordered to help prevent asthma attacks. The school nurse continues to closely monitor Jimmy and he receives follow-up medical care as recommended with Healthy Learners coordinating care, transporting him to appointments and obtaining prescriptions. His asthma is now under better control and his stepfather is better able to understand Jimmy’s asthma and how to control it.  Jimmy is on Medicaid, since the asthma will require long-term treatment.

Where would Jimmy be without the services of Healthy Learners? Most likely he would need frequent admissions to the emergency department for management of acute asthma and he would have difficulty seeing the board in class without a new pair of glasses.

*His name has been changed

(Healthy Learners Greenwood)