Thomas A. Kiefer, MD

  • Board Certified Allergy, Immunology, and Pediatrics
  • Asst. Clinical Professor of Allergy, Immunology, and Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • Attending Physician, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Section of Allergy and Immunology

Dr. Kiefer is an experienced allergy physician serving Columbus and central Ohio communities. He is also a dedicated teacher, instructing resident physicians from the Nationwide Children's Hospital and Grant Family Practice residency programs.

We care for patients of all ages and are dedicated to providing expert and compassionate care for the diagnosis and treatment of allergic disorders including:
  • Allergic rhinitis (hayfever)
  • Asthma (wheezing)
  • Hives and Angioedema (swelling)
  • Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)
  • Eczema and rashes
  • Sinus disease
  • Food and Drug allergy
  • Stinging insect allergy
  • Influenza (flu) vaccine and egg allergy
  • Immunodeficiency (recurrent infections)

The Burden of Asthma Among Minority Children

Asthma disproportionately affects minority children.  The prevalence of asthma/ asthma mortality rates for children 0-17 years of age are as follows: Non-Hispanic Whites, 8.0% /1.3 (per million); Non-Hispanic Blacks, 12.0%/9.2(per million). This means that a Black child is seven times more likely to die of asthma than a White child. This is an unfortunate and alarming statistic. Although the percentage of African Americans in Franklin County is about 19%, African American children account for about 50% of admissions to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for asthma. There is likely no single reason for these disturbing statistics, and that socioeconomic factors, access to health care, environment, and family history all probably play a role.
Asthma is an obstructive airway disorder in which narrowed airways cause children to cough and wheeze. Asthma often has multiple triggers including respiratory infections (colds), allergies (dust, animals, molds, pollens), and cigarette smoke (the worst offender). It is an important part of any asthma treatment plan that children with asthma avoid as many of these triggers as possible, especially cigarette smoke.
All asthmatic children should have access to both primary and specialty health care. Too many minority families need to rely on urgent care services for treatment of their asthmatic children, and do not receive the necessary education and followup. These children often require preventive medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids, for control of their asthma. Schools may have asthma education programs and school nurses who can help monitor medication use by asthmatic children. Only by recognizing and addressing this problem can we help these children and hope to reverse this unfortuneate trend.