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Quality Network Newsletter

December 2008

Table of Contents

Program Update       
Asthma News   
Clinical Update    
Asthma Tools and Resources


Program Update

AH! Welcomes Angela Mowatt
On December 22nd, Angela Mowatt joined the AH! Program at MaineHealth as Administrative Assistant replacing Joel Richard who has joined the MH staff of the Center for Quality and Safety.  Angela comes to AH! with a strong background to enhance our program team.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration and held several administrative support positions at Children’s Hospital in Boston. 

AH! Asthma Health in the Spotlight
Thanks to Chris Rossi, member of the National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB), RT at SMMC, and author of an article about the AH! Program in the NAECB December newsletter  for promoting the good work of the AH! Program.

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Asthma News

The Maine Asthma Council Reactivated
Solid interest and great participation have been in evidence during the two meetings of the Maine Asthma Council that took place this fall. The Council has activated the following workgroups: School, Workplace and Homes. Workgroups yet to come may be Outdoor Air, Health Care Systems and Finance, Communications and Advocacy. All of the workgroups will be considering the issue, it's relation to asthma in Maine, and the development of action steps to address the problem. If you are interested in the work of the Maine Asthma Council or would like to join, please contact Ruth Lawson-Stopps, Asthma Program Manager, Maine CDC at ruth.lawson-stopps@maine.gov.

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Clinical Update

AeroEclipse BAN (Breath Actuated Nebulizer)
The AeroEclipse BAN is being used at Maine Medical Center and Brighton First Care emergency departments and on in-patient units at Maine Medical Center for the treatment of asthma exacerbations.  This very efficient nebulizer produces 81% of its nebulized medication at a particle size of <5microns. Particles that are 5 microns or less in size reach the small airways of the lung. 
Unlike the AeroEclipse BAN, competitors (Misty, Hudson, Salter) produce only 24% of the particles at 5 microns or less.  This variance in particle size enhances deposition and penetration of medications being delivered via the AeroEclipse BAN.  Studies have shown a decreased length of stay in emergency departments and with hospital admissions using this very efficient device to nebulize beta2 agonists. 
However, the AeroEclipse BAN has not been studied with inhaled corticosteroids.  At this time, it is not recommended to use Pulmicort Respules in the AeroEclipse BAN.   If you have any questions about this device, please contact the AH! Asthma Health Program at Maine Medical Center at 207-662-3325.

Misconceptions regarding levalbuterol in the treatment of acute asthma exacerbations in children:  A letter to the editor
Click here to read this letter written by Neil Uspal, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Dewesh Agrawal, MD, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, vol. 27, Issue 1, pgs:117-119, January 2009.

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Asthma Tools and Resources

New Asthma Clinical Guidelines Flipchart
It’s easy to get a copy – just send us an email and we’ll send you a flipchart.  To view the flipchart go to:  www.mainehealth.org/AH click on Clinical Tools then Asthma Guidelines; for J.S. McCarthy users, order a copy at: www.jsmccarthy.com/mainehealth.

Inhaled Medications List – Version 3
Medications for asthma are always changing.  Get the latest information with the updated inhaled medications list which covers controller and quick relief medications. Click here to download or for J.S. McCarthy users, go to: www.jsmccarthy.com/mainehealth.

Free Help for Asthma Patients 
MaineHealth's MedAccess program may be able to help your patients with asthma. Individuals with low to moderate incomes and no health insurance may be eligible to receive free asthma medications, including inhalers and many brand name products. MedAccess assists individuals to apply to Patient Assistance Programs offered through the pharmaceutical companies. MedAccess services are free and open to all residents of Maine. Please encourage patients to call the program if they are in need of help with their medications. Toll-free in Maine: 1-877-275-1787 or locally at (207) 662-7000.

The Latest AH! Asthma Annals
Click here  to see the latest edition of the Asthma Annals that focuses on how we are doing with getting people immunized with the flu vaccine.

New Maine CDC Asthma Prevention and Control Program Website
The Maine Asthma Prevention and Control Program was created in March 2002 to address issues surrounding asthma in the state of Maine and provide leadership and coordination for asthma prevention and intervention activities statewide. The Program is funded 100% by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Maine Asthma Program website has a new look.  Click on http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/bohdcfh/mat/index.html to see the 2008 Burden of Asthma in Maine report, information about the Maine Asthma Council, and local and national resources for asthma.

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