IWK emergency physician Dr. Katie Gardner is leading a quality improvement initiative to reduce the environmental impact of asthma care, while optimizing patient experience and health outcomes.

Ventolin “rescue” inhalers, while useful in acute flare-ups, emit a significant quantity of carbon dioxide, making them as polluting to our atmosphere as cars.

While Katie and her collaborators are exploring the options for acute care of children who present with flare-ups, they are also evaluating how to work with colleagues in primary care to ensure earlier diagnosis and better management of asthma in children, to prevent the flare-ups that require a rescue inhaler. They will also be consulting with nurses and respiratory therapists, and developing tools to assist clinicians in the better and more environmentally friendly management of asthma.

This project is supported by a grant from Cascades Canada, an initiative led by the University of Toronto and funded by Health Canada to support health professionals to provide more climate-resilient care.