September 2, 2016
AAAAI’s School-based Asthma Management Program (SAMPRO™) Aims to Improve the Care of Asthmatic Children in Schools
SAMPRO™ Toolkit Contains Standardized Recommendations and Resources to Allow Implementation
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine Robert F. Lemanske, Jr., MD, FAAAAI, are addressing the needs of asthmatic children by encouraging schools to adopt the AAAAI’s School-based Asthma Management Program (SAMPRO™).
There are 6.3 million children in the United States who struggle with asthma. It is the leading cause of school absence and children with asthma miss almost three times as many school days as healthy children. Excessive absences can effect reading proficiency and increase the risk of learning disabilities. (1) “Schools are one of the first places children learn to manage their potentially deadly disease without the guidance of a family member,” said Dr. Lemanske. “They need to be properly supported to gain necessary, life-long skills.”
SAMPRO™ is outlined in a paper that will be published Friday, September 2 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI). A free toolkit with resources to implement the program is also available for download at aaaai.org/SAMPRO.
SAMPRO™ can help asthmatic children live healthier lives with a four part system:
1. Creating a Circle of Support—The Circle of Support is a communication network centered around the child with asthma, consisting of clinicians, school nurses and families. The SAMPRO™ toolkit provides resources to foster good communication between all parties.
2. Developing and Sharing an Asthma Action Plan—School nurses need to be on the same page as the child’s doctor in the event of an asthma attack. The toolkit includes a standardized Asthma Action Plan in English and Spanish.
3. Comprehensive Education—Educational materials for school personnel and students are available in the toolkit. The materials include posters, games and role playing activities.
4. Assessing the Environment—Only 34% of schools work with the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure students are breathing clean air. (1) SAMPRO™ encourages school personnel to take a closer look at possible asthma triggers and develop an Indoor Air Quality program that includes asthma management strategies.
Legislators in Congress are also working to make SAMPRO™ part of school practice. H.R. 4662 would leverage existing Federal asthma grants to encourage improved school-based management of asthma. The bill has already attracted 51 bipartisan co-sponsors.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 6,900 members in the United States, Canada and 72 other countries. The AAAAI’s Find an Allergist/Immunologist service is a trusted resource to help you find a specialist close to home.
(1) Creation and implementation of SAMPRO™: A school-based asthma management program. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2016; 138:711-23.
Robert F. Lemanske, Jr., MD, FAAAAI, is Immediate-Past President of the AAAAI and is currently Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and the Associate Dean of Clinical and Translational Research at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. He attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin and completed his residency and fellowship at the UW Hospitals and Clinics. Lemanske has been published in over 200 medical journals and is a member of several professional medical societies.