Objectives: The aim of this study was to measure the occurrence of acute exacerbations of asthma at an Emergency Health Facility for the period 2010-12, and to describe its spatial distribution using ARC GIS 10.0 (ESRI).
Design: The study design is an observational cross sectional study in which cases of acute exacerbations of asthma treated at an Emergency Department of a semi rural 24hr health facility were reviewed. The address of each patient was geocoded and mapped.
Setting: An emergency health facility offering 24x7 service.
Participants: All patients who met the criteria for an acute exacerbation of asthma during the period 2010-12.
Main outcome measures: The occurrence and geographic distribution of asthma presenting for rescue therapy.
Results: The number of cases of acute exacerbations asthma increased in each consecutive year. Spatially, while the geographical distribution of cases was diffuse we identified a cluster (Valencia). Using spatial overlay there was a correlation with temperature and humidity.
Conclusions: Over the three year period 2010-2012 there was an increase in the occurrence of acute exacerbations of asthmatic requiring emergency care, emphasizing that Asthma is still an important Public Health challenge.
Keywords: Asthma, GIS, emergency admissions, trends