Can the environmental protection agency's air quality index (AQI) be used to predict pediatric emergency room admissions for asthma?




Treber, Martha

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In 2000, the EPA implemented a color-coded system for easier understanding by the general public to be forewarned of unhealthy air quality days. This study reviewed daily ER admissions at an urban pediatric hospital in Dallas, Texas for the months of May through September 2000, in an effort to predict increased admissions for asthma during high ozone episodes. If the color-coded AQI could be used to predict admissions for asthma, then the hospital would be able to better prepare for that increase. From using a regression analysis with a one-day lag and a two-day lag, no correlation was found between the high ozone days and ER admissions for asthma. Future research should adjust for other variables, such as weather conditions and days of the week, use of controller medications and will compare other health care facilities' asthma admissions for the same days.



Pediatric hospitals, Pediatric health care, Health and environmental sciences