Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Asthma Model Q & A

I have a standard disease lung model but am looking for something really specific to asthma. Is there some other type of asthma model you could recommend?

One of the best and most specific anatomical models to show the closing or tightening of the bronchus during an asthma attack is the bronchus model. Designed as cross section pieces of the air passage the model is hinged and swings out from a rod at the back. The stages of the bronchus asthma model progress from normal through to the muscle spasms and swelling of the tissue associated with a significant asthma event. In addition this model can also be used with patients that have a diagnosis of chronic bronchitis.

When is the best time to use an asthma model with the patient?

With the stress and fear of the asthma attack sharing an asthma model with the patient after they have fully recovered is the best option. However, in some cases where the fear of what is happening is causing increasing anxiety, using the model to explain what is happening in the air passages immediately can be helpful as well. This option works well because it helps to get the patient to normalize the asthma attack and use their muscles more effectively to help loosen the air passages and allow inhalation and exhalation to resume as quickly as possible. This type of asthma model, often referred to as a bronchus model, shows a cross section of the bronchus or air passage during the stages of the asthma attack.

After the patient is able to breath normally a disease lung asthma model can then be used to help explain all the details of the condition during the attack and even when the patient is breathing normally. Talking about triggers for asthma will be extremely beneficial to prevent further attacks.

Do children with asthma really understand the condition and what can I do to help develop a greater level of understanding?

Even very young children can have serious asthma conditions that may be life threatening. While young patients will typically be accompanied by a parent that can help them to avoid triggers and provide medication as prescribed, it is still important for the child to understand the condition as early as possible. Using a non-threatening model with a child that is old enough to understand what he or she is seeing is a great chance to provide education and information. Since the anatomy model is not graphic or highly complicated simple and age appropriate explanations can be provided to the child. Children in mid-elementary school are able to understand basic information about asthma especially when it is also provided by the parents at home.

A good option is to have the parents in on the discussion of the condition with the child. The asthma model is the center of the discussion with the doctor, but the parents can also review the model with the child to ensure there are no additional questions.

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