A new program at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC aims to find better treatments for severely asthmatic children who do not have a medication that works for them.
It is one of two children's centers in the nation that have this kind of research program. The other is at Emory Hospital in Atlanta.
Dr. Shean Aujla, a pulmonologist at Children's, said there have been few studies on severely asthmatic children. She said it is important because these children end up missing more school and having more visits to the emergency room because of ineffective medications. Sometimes children even die from the condition.
"Most of the studies in severe asthma and what we know about severe asthma are in adults," Dr.Aujla says.
Five to 10 percent of asthmatic children are classified as having severe asthma, Aujla said.