Friday Links – Groundbreaking Severe Asthma Treatment, ALA’s State of the Air 2010
Site Redesign! Monday Morning! Be There! (I mean here)
For real this time.
Asthma Mom will be down all day Sunday for the big rollover, and you’ll see the beautiful, brand-new design and expanded navigation and content bright and early Monday morning. Maybe even Sunday night, but no promises. Related, I am slowly driving myself crazy with retagging, reorganizing, recategorizing, re-all-kinds-of-stuff to get the navigation and display working right.
In a science fiction-like therapy called “bronchial thermoplasty” that I’ve written about before, doctors use radio waves through a bronchoscope to burn off the smooth muscle fiber that blocks severe patients’ airways, reducing the number and severity of flares. The FDA has just approved it for patients that don’t respond well to the regular medications, and as a device rather than a pharmaceutical, it’s the first treatment of its kind.
American Lung Association Releases State of the Air 2010
Check out your regional air and the United States’ best and worst places. In the top-10 most polluted slots for ozone and short/long-term particle pollution: California cities, primarily, but Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Houston, and Salt Lake City all appear, too.
As for cities with the cleanest air, it’s a mixed bag.
Asthma is a popular symbol on the Internet this week. Consider:
Burden of High Asthma Rates, Severity in New England
In this article on New England, the region with the highest number of asthma diagnoses in the country, Stephen Smith writes,
Asthma is in many ways a metaphor for the nationâs health system, a chronic illness that should be relatively easy to tame in most patients. Instead, economic, social, and environmental forces combine to make it a persistent hardship for many.
Slate’s Using Asthma as a Metaphor, Too
In Darshak Sanghavi’s article on another kind of health reform, bundling payments, I read this:
To illustrate the big challenges, and also a practical way forward, let’s consider asthma in children. A leading cause of misery, the disease accounts for one in six pediatric emergency room visits and is the most common cause of inpatient hospitalizations in many urban areas. And yet, most experts agree, asthma is eminently treatable and most of these hospitalizations are preventable.
Asthma’s complicated but treatable? Who knew?
While the difficulty and heartbreak of attaining good control in children are not news to anybody here, I’m surprised and happy to see more press and more accurate portrayals of the struggle lately. But I wonder why asthma’s popping up on the radar now.
Maybe because World Asthma Day’s next week?