Robert Carmon had a rough start to life. Shortly after birth he developed asthma, a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the lungs and difficulty breathing. His attacks were so severe as an infant that his parents rushed him to the emergency room practically every week. They were terrified he might die. Today, at age 7, Robert’s asthma has stabilized.
Ava Passley covered her nose and giggled as Dr. Jacob Hen walked into an examination room at his pediatric pulmonology office in Trumbull recently. Ava, 3, of Bridgeport, knows what to expect from a visit with Hen, having dealt with asthma since she was 1. She also spent several nights in the hospital after an attack in 2012. “I had always heard about wheezing, but had never really heard it before that,” her mother, Beverly Passley said. Ava is part of growing number of people in Connecticut who have used the emergency room for asthma symptoms, according to the most recent figures from the state Department of Public Health.
Connecticut is the only New England state—and one of just three nationally—to have no hospitals designated as “Top Performers” by The Joint Commission, which issued an annual report gauging the performance of more than 3,300 accredited hospitals on 45 accountability measures linked to positive patient outcomes.
Residents in Connecticut’s five largest cities are nearly three times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma – and twice as likely to die from it—as residents in the rest of the state, according to new data from the state Department of Public Health.