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Asthma Referral Guidelines
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. In susceptible individuals, this inflammation causes recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing, particularly at night or in the early morning. These episodes are usually associated with widespread but variable airflow obstruction that is often reversible either spontaneously or with treatment. The inflammation also causes an associated increase in the existing bronchial hyperresponsiveness to a variety of stimuli such as exposure to allergens or irritants, changes in weather, and viral infections to name a few.
Initial evaluation and management should include establishing diagnosis of asthma based on history and exam. Symptoms can include: history of cough, recurrent wheezing, recurrent difficulty breathing, recurrent chest tightness that occurs or worsens at night or with exercise, viral infection, exposure to allergens and irritants, changes in weather, hard laughing or crying, stress or other factors. Initial management should include patient education regarding the medical diagnosis and trigger avoidance and trial of quick-relief and long-term controller medications (if clinically indicated).
- If confirmation of the diagnosis is needed: all patients ≥5 years of age can undergo spirometry to determine that airway obstruction is at least partially reversible.
- If patient has persistent symptoms despite initial pharmacological trial.
- If there is a need to confirm respiratory allergen sensitization.
To refer a patient to the allergy clinic, you can submit an appointment request via Cerner and a scheduler will contact the patient family to coordinate the appointment. You can also provide the patient, family or your practice’s scheduler our appointment line: 202-476-3016.
- No prior testing is needed before the referral.
- If the patient has had prior spirometry or respiratory allergen testing, a copy of those results would be helpful. The patient can bring this with them to the appointment or you can forward it to our clinic in advance.
- Patient should bring the list of the medications that they have tried.
- If the patient is five years old or older, the patient will be likely scheduled for spirometry either on the date of their initial allergy appointment or on another date if spirometry services are not available on that date.
- The initial visit may include an allergy skin prick testing for respiratory allergens if clinically indicated. Allergy skin testing is done typically if the patient is at least 4-6 years of age. Patient will need to be off oral antihistamines for 5-7 days prior to skin testing.
- The duration of the initial visit in the allergy visit may be 1-1.5 hours.
- Referral Number: 202-476-3016; Select the appropriate option to schedule an allergy appointment.
Request referral pads
Outpatient Appointment Referral Pads (PDFs)
Northern Virginia - 2021: English | En Español
Maryland - 2021: English | En Español
Montgomery County Imaging - 2020: English
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