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Transcript: Children and Asthma - Segment 2

TIME: 4:42

TITLE:  Children and Asthma
TITLE:  Producers -- Irving Saraf, Allie Light, Nancy Evans
TITLE:  St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, New York
TITLE:  About 5 million children in the United States are affected by asthma.  –U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
WOMAN #1:  She woke up with major differences.
So I went and I got cough medicine, and I thought, "Hmm, you know, it’s a common cold."
But by noon, we were on, you know, on our way to a friend’s house but by noon, she was just laboring to breathe and that’s when we came to the hospital.
DR. PHILIP LANDRIGAN:  The major problem in children’s environmental health today is asthma.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 15 million children are predisposed to asthma.
Rates of acute asthmatic attacks among American children have doubled in the past decade.
The group within the American population who are at highest risk are children, and within the broad population of children, it is poor children of color living in inner cities who are clearly at the very highest risk.
GROUP OF CHILDREN IN CLASSROOM:  Good morning, Ms. Lightfoot. I’m here and ready to learn.
VERONICA LIGHTFOOT:  You look like you’re ready to learn today. Today, I came to your class because I want to share some information with you about asthma. Can anyone spell that word?
LIGHTFOOT:  Raise your hand if you have asthma. OK, raise your hand if somebody who lives in your house has asthma.
CHILD #1: My auntie has asthma.
CHILD #2:  My mommy has asthma.
CHILD #3:  My brother has asthma.
LIGHTFOOT:  Your brother has asthma. Yes.
CHILD #4:  My sister has asthma.
LIGHTFOOT:  Your sister has asthma. Yes.
CHILD #5:  My cousin has asthma.
LIGHTFOOT:  We are concerned here in Bayview-Hunter's Point because we are a very toxic area.
We have a very high percentage of children with asthma. And we formed what is called the Asthma Task Force.
The Asthma Task Force started here at Carver, and our primary purpose was to educate our children.
LIGHTFOOT:  Can you show me where your lungs are? Right here. Are your lungs here?
LIGHTFOOT:  Are you sure? Are your lungs here?
LIGHTFOOT:  Where are your lungs?
CHILDREN:  Right here!
LIGHTFOOT:  Show me! OK, how many lungs do you have? One?
LIGHTFOOT:  You sure it’s not three?
LIGHTFOOT:  OK, ready? One, two, three ... blow. Now put your hand there. You feel the air coming through the straw?
That’s how your lungs feel when you are not sick with asthma. Now, pinch your straw. Pinch it. Pinch. Now blow.
Put your hand there. Do you feel any air? No, just maybe a little, right? Well, that’s how a person feels when he or she has asthma.
DR. DONALD GERMAN: Asthma’s an inflammatory disease. There’s inflammation in the bronchial tree, and that inflammation, that inflammation is something that, once it starts, it’s very difficult to turn off.
DR. PAUL SHAREK:  Recognizing that the prevalence of asthma has, you know, skyrocketed over the last 20 years and particularly in populations such as the Bayview's -- lower socioeconomic populations -- at San Francisco General, I helped set up an asthma clinic to cater to this population in terms of access and education and medication distribution and testing.
©  Light-Saraf Films 2002

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Centers Funded by Epa and NIEHS

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