To determine if early treatment with oral corticosteroids to pediatric patients with asthma exacerbations in the emergency department could decrease their length of stay.

Children between the ages of 2 and 18 years who presented to the emergency department with acute asthma exacerbations and received oral corticosteroids, either prednisolone or dexamethasone, were included.

Retrospective chart review of 882 children who were seen over the 12-month study period was performed. A standardized asthma treatment algorithm was used as a guide based on severity of exacerbation, but the treating physician decided medications used. Timing of corticosteroid administration and length of stay was calculated by the electronic medical record. Children receiving corticosteroids within 60 minutes of triage were compared with those receiving corticosteroids ≥61 minutes after triage. The 2 groups were compared using either Student’s t test or χ2 test, based on the level of measurement.

Children treated with corticosteroids within 60...

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