SickKids podcast highlights CHILD asthma tool

From the time Hannah was an infant, her parents had to take her repeatedly to the hospital due to respiratory problems. There, she was often diagnosed with pneumonia or other lung infections and given a puffer and/or treated with antibiotics. But the problem kept recurring and its root cause was never identified—until Hannah was referred to SickKids’ respiratory clinic, where she was seen by CHILD Director Dr. Padmaja (PJ) Subbarao.

“Once we got referred to the SickKids clinic and we saw Dr. PJ, it has been a blessing from there,” says Hannah’s mother Melanie in a SickKids podcast focused on this case and Dr. Subbarao’s work as a pediatric respirologist.

The life-changing influence Dr. Subbarao had in Hannah’s life was her ability to diagnose Hannah as suffering from asthma, and from there to monitor its progress over time and to introduce approriate treatment and management strategies.

“[The] outcome of it was just amazing. [Hannah’s] asthma has improved drastically… we’re not in the ER anymore,” in the words of Hannah’s mom Melanie: “It’s just a good news story; I can say from two years old, and Hannah’s nine now, we haven’t been in the ER for asthma problems at all, which is amazing.”

Central to Hannah’s diagnosis and monitoring, and thus to the effectiveness of her treatment plan, is a simple tool developed by Dr. Subbarao and colleagues based on research out of CHILD: the CHILDhood Asthma Risk Tool, or CHART. As noted in the podcast, “this tool can be used by parents or family doctors or nurses, is non-invasive, can be done on the spot, and is free.”

Learn more about how often asthma goes undiagnosed, the importance of diagnosing it correctly, and how CHART can help solve this problem by listening to the SickKids’  podcast  and/or reading the transcript on the SickKids’ website.