Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Among the many challenges of providing care for children with multiple physical and developmental handicaps is the proper management of their respiratory difficulties. This study was designed to evaluate the prevalence of respiratory symptoms in children attending a multidisciplinary clinic for handicapped children. We also used several methods to estimate the prevalence of allergic sensitivity in children with respiratory complaints. Questionnaires concerning respiratory symptoms were completed by the parents of 104 patients. The most frequent complaint reported was snoring in 41% of the children. Of the 39% who had multiple respiratory symptoms, 85% had detectable allergen- specific IgE to cat, dog, or house-dust mites. We conclude that most handicapped children with multiple respiratory complaints are allergically sensitive.