Occupational Asthma Reference

Walters GI, Burge PS, Sahal A, Robertson AS, Moore VC, Hospital attendances and acute admissions preceding a diagnosis of occupational asthma, Lung, 2019;:,https://doi.org/10.1007/s00408-019-00249-w)

Keywords: UK, OA, diagnosis, admission,

Known Authors

Sherwood Burge, Oasys Sherwood Burge

Vicky Moore, Oasys Vicky Moore

Alastair Robertson, Selly Oak Hospital Alastair Robertson

Gareth Walters, Heartlands Gareth Walters

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Occupational exposures are a common cause of adult-onset asthma; rapid removal from exposure to the causative agent offers the best chance of a good outcome. Despite this, occupational asthma (OA) is widely underdiagnosed. We aimed to see whether chances of diagnosis were missed during acute hospital attendances in the period between symptom onset and the diagnosis of OA.

Patients diagnosed with OA at the regional occupational lung disease service in Birmingham between 2007 and 2018 whose home address had a Birmingham postcode were included. Emergency department (ED) attendances and acute admission data were retrieved from acute hospitals in the Birmingham conurbation for the period between symptom onset and diagnosis.

OA was diagnosed in 406 patients, 147 having a Birmingham postcode. Thirty-four percent (50/147) had acute hospital attendances to a Birmingham conurbation hospital preceding their diagnosis of OA, including 35 (24%) with respiratory illnesses, which resulted in referral for investigation of possible OA in 2/35. The median delay between symptom onset and diagnosis of OA was 30 months (IQR?=?13-60) and between first hospital attendance with respiratory illness and diagnosis 12 months (IQR?=?12-48, range 3-96 months)

The chance to reduce the delay in the diagnosis of OA was missed in 33/35 patients admitted or seen in ED with respiratory symptoms in the period between symptom onset and diagnosis of OA. The diagnosis of OA was delayed by a median of 12 months by failure to ask about employment and work relationship of symptoms.

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