A study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that although a chest x-ray rarely adds valuable information in these cases, it is often performed.

In this retrospective chart review of 288 pediatric patients being evaluated in the PED with acute asthma exacerbations, chest radiography identified pneumonia in only 43 children (15%), and 51 children (17.8%) received antibiotics.

There were no statistically significant associations between performing chest radiography or receiving antibiotics and age, race, gender, insurance status, mode of PED arrival, fever, or hypoxia. The finding of crackles was associated with antibiotic administration (P =0.03), but not with pneumonia (P=0.07) on radiograph.

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