Asthma Capitals: Asthma-Related Emergency Department Visits

In AAFA's Asthma Capitals ReportDownload PDF, we ranked cities based on three health outcomes: asthma prevalence, asthma-related emergency department visits and asthma-related mortality rates. The outcomes were not weighted equally.


Proper asthma management may help to reduce trips to the emergency department (ED). These steps can help you reduce your chance of needing to go to the ED:

Asthma accounts for 1.7 million ED visits yearly, making it one of the top 20 reasons for ED visits.1 If you have an asthma attack that is severe or won’t respond to quick-relief medicines, you may need to go to the ED. Call your asthma care provider right away if you or your child has trouble breathing. If you can’t reach them, call 911.

Unnecessary trips to the emergency room can be costly. On average, every asthma-related trip to the ED costs $1,502.2

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its Vital Signs report on pediatric asthma. The CDC’s findings showed that from 2010-2016 the use of Asthma Action Plans increased and the number of hospitalizations decreased. During the past 10 years, asthma-related hospitalizations decreased from 10% to 5%.3 

Asthma Emergency Room Visits by City





1. Rui, P., & Kang, K. (2014). National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2014 Emergency Department Summary Tables. Retrieved from /data/ahcd/nhamcs_emergency/2014 _ed_web_tables.pdf

2. Wang, T., Srebotnjak, T., Brownell, J., & Hsia, R. Y. (2014). Emergency department charges for asthma-related outpatient visits by insurance status. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 25(1), 396-405. doi:10.1353/hpu.2014.0051

3. Vital Signs. (2018, February 06). Retrieved March 27, 2019, from ,