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      Calc Function

    • Calcs that help predict probability of a diseaseDiagnosis
    • Subcategory of 'Diagnosis' designed to be very sensitiveRule Out
    • Disease is diagnosed: prognosticate to guide treatmentPrognosis
    • Numerical inputs and outputsFormula
    • Med treatment and moreTreatment
    • Suggested protocolsAlgorithm





    Chief Complaint


    Organ System


    Patent Pending

    Pediatric Asthma Score (PAS)

    Stratifies asthma severity in children.


    Do not use in patients under 2 years of age, in severe distress, or with clear alternative diagnosis.

    When to Use
    Why Use
    • Use in children aged 2-18 years with asthma exacerbation to guide inpatient medical management.  
    • Can also be applied in the emergency department.
    • Should not be used to evaluate patients with significant comorbidities (e.g. sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis).
    • The PAS was evaluated based on patients that had already received oral or IV steroids within 30 minutes of treatment initiation.
    • Helpful in patients unwilling or unable to comply with peak expiratory flow measurement.
    • May quantify severity of asthma, but cannot predict response to treatment prior to intervention.
    • Good inter-observer agreement among physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists in an ED setting.
    • Developed based on published guidelines of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program in an effort to improve outcomes.

    Asthma is the most common reason for hospital admission from the emergency department in children. When combined with a treatment protocol based on severity, the PAS has been shown to decrease length of stay, reduce costs, and improve quality of care.

    >95% on room air
    90-95% on room air
    <90% on room air or any supplemental oxygen
    Normal breath sounds to end-expiratory wheeze only
    Expiratory wheezing
    Inspiratory and expiratory wheezing to diminished breath sounds
    None or intercostal
    Intercostal and substernal
    Intercostal, substernal, and supraclavicular
    Speaks in sentences (or coos and babbles)
    Speaks partial sentences (or short cry)
    Speaks in single words or short phrases (or grunts)


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    Next Steps
    Creator Insights


    Mild (PAS 5-7)

    • Consider de-escalation of current therapy. Consider spacing of albuterol and interval assessments, or preparation for discharge if tolerating home controller regimen.

    Moderate (PAS 8-11)

    • Continue current treatment and interval assessment.

    Severe (PAS 12-15)

    • Consider escalation of treatment, including increasing frequency of nebulizer treatments, adding another controller medication (e.g. ipratropium bromide, terbutaline), and transfer to monitored unit.


    • The authors used a therapy-driven protocol derived from review of asthma practice patterns in the hospital, NHLBI guidelines, and a review of literature regarding inpatient management of status asthmaticus. The protocol was designed to use either the PAS or PEFR to measure response.
    • Another example of a pathway for management of asthma in the inpatient setting: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Inpatient Asthma Pathway

    Critical Actions

    • Always assess airway, breathing, and circulation prior to assessing PAS.  The PAS was not developed for use on unstable patients and emergent intervention must not be withheld to determine the score.
    • Any patient being treated for asthma exacerbation should receive steroids in addition to nebulized albuterol unless there is a contraindication.
    • Prior to discharge, every patient and their family should receive education on use of home inhalers and/or nebulizers, an asthma action plan, and scheduled follow-up with their primary care physician.  Ensure the patient has adequate supply of home controller medications, peak flow meter, and spacer if applicable.
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    About the Creator
    Dr. Cynthia Kelly
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