Cincinnati has more asthma cases than most cities -- so Children's came up with this solution

CINCINNATI -- More young people in Cincinnati battle asthma than in other parts of the country, doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center say.

For kids who live close to the center of the city, diagnoses and hospitalizations for asthma can be up to 10 times higher than in more suburban areas.

Children's came up with a new program to connect kids with doctors who can help them -- all without leaving home or school.

The pilot program uses telemedicine, which uses video conferencing like Skype.

Aaliyah Brantley, 15, is a student at Withrow University High School who has asthma.

"It feels like an elephant is sitting on you," she said. "You can't breathe."

Now, from the school nurse's office, Brantley is able to seek treatment and medication when her asthma acts up -- something that would normally require a trip to the emergency room.

"Now I can do more stuff than I did before," she said. "I can run longer. It's really helpful."

Dr. Theresa Guilbert from Children's Asthma Center said doctors want to expand care to young people with asthma in the city, and this program shows promise to do just that.

"Especially for children who can't make it to our facility, we want to reach out to where they are," Guilbert said.

The pilot program currently keeps tabs on 20 students at three Cincinnati Public Schools.

Guilbert said preliminary results from the program show a reduced number of emergency room visits.

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