ECRMC Plans Educational Activities to Raise Awareness for World Asthma Day

El Centro, Calif.- May 7, 2019 - Events oriented around the theme “You Can Control Your Asthma” will take place in dozens of countries around the world today, World Asthma Day. Asthma experts are calling for increased efforts at asthma diagnosis, education, and treatment to enable more asthma sufferers to reach the goal of controlling their disease.

El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC) through its Imperial Valley Child Asthma Program (IVCAP), will be providing asthma information and resources on May 7, 2019 at the ECRMC Community Education Center located at the Imperial Valley Mall from 1:00 to 6:00 PM. “The goal of the event is to increase asthma awareness among community members and to let people know about the services available to them” say Shiloh A. Williams, RN, MSN ECRMC Director of Education, Development and Research.

The theme of this year’s World Asthma day is “You Can Control Your Asthma”. We are hereby using this medium to encourage all patients with asthma to take a positive outlook towards their disease, study their symptoms, avoid known triggers and must use their peak flow meters to monitor the progress of their disease. They also need to be taught about danger signs, how to recognize them, and what should done. This will reduce the frequency of emergency visits along with morbidity and mortality associated with asthma.

Asthma is one of the most common diseases affecting the community’s poor and minority groups. Over the last 10 years, Imperial County has been consistently recognized as having one of the highest childhood asthma hospitalization and emergency department visit rates among all California counties. According to the Data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD, 2014), asthma-related hospitalizations for children 0-17 years in Imperial County was almost two times higher than the rest of the state: 17.8 hospitalizations per 10,000 residents as compared to the state level of 10.9 hospitalizations per 10,000 residents. This trend continued for Imperial County when they examined the state average for asthma-related emergency department visits for children in Imperial County: 149.6 visits per 10,000 residents in Imperial County as compared to 80.7 visits per 10,000 residents across the rest of the state (OSHPD, 2014).

Asthma is characterized by recurrent breathing problems and symptoms such as breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. Asthma symptoms vary over time, and also from individual to individual.

“Almost all people with asthma, including those with severe asthma, can lead normal lives,” says Aide Fulton, RN, BSN, Coordinator of the ECRMC- Imperial Valley Child Asthma Program (IVCAP). “Early detection, effective treatments, control of the factors that contribute to symptoms, and coordinated education with patients’ families can enable people who have this common respiratory disease to live full, active lives.”

A person’s asthma is under control when he or she has:

  • No (or minimal) asthma symptoms.
  • No waking at night due to asthma.
  • No (or minimal) need to use “reliever” medication.
  • The ability to do normal physical activity and exercise.
  • Normal (or near-normal) lung function test results (PEF and FEV1).
  • No (or very infrequent) asthma attacks.

A strategy for achieving and maintaining asthma control is set out in the 2007 revision of the GINA Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention. The strategy requires four interrelated components of therapy:

  • Develop patient/doctor partnership.
  • Identify and reduce exposure to risk factors.
  • Assess, treat, and monitor asthma.
  • Manage asthma exacerbations.

Under this strategy, asthma is treated in a stepwise manner to achieve and maintain control of the disease. Medication is increased—“stepped up”—when asthma is not controlled, and gradually stepped down once good control is achieved and maintained for a period of time. According to the GINA Experts, following this strategy will lead to better asthma control and reduce the burden of this disease on patients, families, and societies.

World Asthma Day is an annual event, held the first Tuesday in May, organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). GINA was launched in 1993 to work with healthcare professionals and public health officials around the world to reduce the burden of asthma disease. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma prepared by GINA have been adapted for use in a variety of settings around the world and are available, along with other GINA documents, at www.ginasthma.org.

For more information about the Events, please contact Aide Fulton, RN at (760) 482-0978.


El Centro Regional Medical Center ECRMC is an acute-care medical center, serving the health care needs of the Imperial Valley since 1956. In addition to the 161-bed hospital, ECRMC also owns and operates the Oncology & Hematology of Imperial Valley, Wound Healing Center, Outpatient Imaging Center and outpatient clinics in El Centro and Calexico. The outpatient centers provide exceptional primary and specialty care for residents seeking enhanced well-being and improved quality of life.

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