The City of Oakland has seen diminished childhood asthma rates. During the last few years more children have been able to qualify for Medi-Cal and other health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Local programs work together with Medi-Cal and ACA to reduce the number of symptoms related to asthma by making sure children from low-income communities have access to primary care, medicine, and treatment. Unfortunately, the asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits among children have continued to increase. These rates are even higher in low-income communities located near highly trafficked areas. To investigate this phenomenon, this study is an in-depth literature review of the current journal articles detailing the preventative measures taken to decrease the risk of a child having to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized. The literature review included information on environmental and social factors that may contribute to increased risk of severe symptoms that required hospitalization.
This study found that more research is needed on how children interact with their health systems and their environment. Without follow-up after a child is discharged from the hospital, there is no guarantee that families will seek primary care, which leads to hospital readmission. Both the West Oakland zip code 94601 and the East Oakland zip code 94621 have higher hospitalization rates and emergency room visit rates compared to the county and other parts within Oakland. These residents are exposed to higher amounts of pollution because of the environment they live in. Pollution is a known trigger that worsens asthma symptoms. Many of the people living in these areas do not have the resources to move out to other neighborhoods because of their socioeconomic status.
"Asthma-Related Hospitalization and Emergency Room Visits in Oakland,"
McNair Research Journal SJSU: Vol. 13
, Article 12.
Available at: http://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/mcnair/vol13/iss1/12