Clubhouse Gas interviews asthma educator Maryanne Morris about how kids with asthma can still play youth sports.
Casey Bass: Today, on Clubhouse Gas we're joined once again by Asthma educator at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Maryanne Morris. We continue our discussion on Asthma, how it affects the kids and how it affects the sports that they play right here on Clubhouse Gas. Today,once again we are at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta where we are joined by the friend of the show Maryanne Morris, who is an Asthma Educator. We're continuing to learn more about Asthma and what we can do to help the kids who have it. Maryanne, Thanks for joining us. The first thing I want to ask you is, what is it like for a kid who has Asthma when they have an attack? Maryanne Morris: Okay a very good demo that I use when I do my education is, to just use a regular drinking straw and have the people who are listening to my program, hold their nose and try to breath through the straw, in a few seconds they are able to feel, what it feels like to an individual who has Asthma. The amount of air that you can get in breath in through the straw is a lot less. Casey Bass: I've been playing sports my entire and if I had to breath like that I'm pretty sure that I couldn't do it. So, how this disappointing must to be for a kid who has got aspiration to be an Olympic Athlete or Professional football player to find out of they have asthma and now they can't do those things. Maryanne Morris: Well, at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, we feel that every child can do whatever they want to do and can achieve all their high athletic aspiration. Casey Bass: You're telling me if I have, I have this disorder as I would as much consider, what as Asthma consider. Maryanne Morris: You could say that its a disorder. Casey Bass: So, having disorder that force, that calls as me, to feel like I'm breathing through a straw with my nose pinched, I can still perform at the highest level? Maryanne Morris: Absolutely. Casey Bass: Maryanne, I'm not going to little bias on that. Maryanne Morris: Absolutely, the trick is that Asthma has to be controlled and all Asthma can be controlled. Casey Bass : Well, here we deal with results. So, if you can give 3-4 people who have actually competed at this level with Asthma, then may be we'll continue to talk about how we can move along. So, really anybody who has, -- Maryanne Morris: Oh! Absolutely well known individuals are Dominique Wilkins, Emmitt Smith, the Dallas Cowboy football player, Jackie Joyner-Kersee who achieved a lot of Olympic dreams here in Atlanta. Casey Bass: NBA superstar, all time-leading Rusher in the NFL and I think five time gold medalist with asthma. Maryanne Morris :And addition Kristi Yamaguchi some of you may be familiar with her from Dancing with the Stars but she also was Gold medalist in Ice-skating, that's correct. Casey Bass : So, it's not the end of the road for these kids So, how do we, how do we treat to get rid of that? Maryanne Morris: Okay, first of all you need to start with the physician, and with exercise-induced asthma; that's what we were talking about here. The important thing is just that you need to pre-medicate with a quick relief medication before -- about 15-30 before the exercise. What that does, is it helps to open the air ways more to hopefully prevent any kind of asthma symptom that could occur. Casey Bass: Alright! So we've pre-medicated and then we get into our activity. Is there anything we can build into our activity to make it. Maryanne Morris: Absolutely, coaches and PE teachers should strongly encourage a warm-up period before exercise as well as cool-down after the exercise is completed. It helps to get the body ready for the exercise. Casey Bass: And are we talking about just any kind of warm up that we all do for sports like stretching and do some for morning or are there special types of daily exercise? Maryanne Morris: Well, no just the normal warm up that you would do for any type of exercises is correct but you could, what happens with exercise-induced asthma is just that, the reason why it creates an issue for the individual is because they breath through their mouth and in doing so, the air that they are breathing in is cold and dry and when it hits warm, moist air inside the lungs it reacts and causes the air way to get tight. Casey Bass: We talked to Dr. David Marshall about heat illness, he said, part what was important was realizing when you could and couldn't have practices, is it the same way for Asthma? Maryanne Morris: Absolutely, one Ozone alert days, the Orange days in particular you need to be very watchful, the coaches do at least watch their children and limit their activities outside. When its a Red ozone day, its definitely not indicated for a child who has asthma to be out exercising. Casey Bass: As a Coach, how do you find that out, is there a black helicopter that flies around -- Maryanne Morris: No, no you can check the air quality on the Cleanair website and it will post that everyday. Casey Bass: Alright we shouldn't just be checking the heat index but we shall also be checking the air quality. Maryanne Morris: That's correct. Casey Bass: And once we're done with the practice and we've warmed up what happens, if the kid starts having a asthma attack. What you do as coach? Maryanne Morris: Okay the coach should also have access to a plan in place with the parents to meet with the parent ahead of time should the child start with symptoms of asthma because the plan should include that they can then use their quick relief inhaler again, to see and watch to see if that would help to give the child relief. Casey Bass: Now, you should me an attachment for the inhaler. Maryanne Morris: Yes. Casey Bass: I've never seen any one used before but the statics you gave me on that, were unbelievable. Can we talk about this? Maryanne Morris: Okay, this I'm holding in my hand a Spacer or a Holding chamber and what it does is that attaches to the end of the inhaler and when you activate the inhaler, it captures the medicine inside and it allows more the individual to breath that inside that it can getting to lower air ways where it needs to go. Casey Bass: Alright, so if I'm just a kid and I just use the inhaler what percentage of medication am I getting in my lungs? Maryanne Morris: The studies that I've read about 20%. Casey Bass: Only 20% of medication. Maryanne Morris: Correct. Casey Bass: And what about with the attachment? Maryanne Morris: It increases it by a good 50%. Casey Bass: So from 20-70% just with the attachment. So, if we're going to be at practice, when nowhere we're going to probably need to use the inhaler, there's no reason, not to bring the attachment as well. Maryanne Morris: That's correct. Casey Bass: Alright, so we know when to practice, we know how to practice and now we know what to do after we get too overstimulated at practice. Maryanne Morris: Right. Casey Bass: Maryanne, fantastic job. Maryanne Morris: Thank you. Casey Bass: Thank you so much, we want to thank everyone here at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and thank you for watching and we look forward to seeing you right back here next time for another great edition of Clubhouse Gas. If you have asthma or think you might have asthma talk to your doctor and talk to your coach. Control your asthma before it controls you, get a management plan so you can stay in the game. Asthma doesn't stop The Bus, and it doesn't have to stop you.