Sometimes diagnosing asthma in children can be problematical when symptoms from other causes can be very similar eg chronic cough, bronchitis. A misleading diagnosis can lead to delayed or inappropriate treatment. This is particularly unhelpful for children during the colder winter months when symptoms may be exacerbated. Following on from our innovative work in previous winters commencing in 2017, our nurses are holding clinics this month to run a series of FeNo tests.
During inflammation of the airways, higher-than-normal levels of nitric oxide (NO) are released from the bronchial wall. The concentration of NO in exhaled breath, or fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), can help identify airway inflammation, and thereby support a diagnosis of asthma when other objective evidence is lacking.
This service is now embedded in the joint working in our local network and has been extended to include children & adults.
We hope that this will reduce the incidence of patients having to seek emergency treatment and reduce the occasions when parents in particular have to witness their children struggling for breath.
We are using our records to target patients of particular concern but any patient interested in this service should speak with their clinician.