Adjunct Therapies for Refractory Status Asthmaticus in Children.
Asthma exacerbation is a common reason for children to present to the emergency department. If primary therapies fail to halt the progression of an asthma flare, status asthmaticus often leads to hospital, and potentially ICU, admission. Following the initial administration of inhaled β agonists and systemic corticosteroids, a wide array of adjunct medical therapies may be used to treat status asthmaticus. Unfortunately, the data supporting the use of these adjunct therapies are often unclear, conflicting, or absent. This review will present the physiologic basis and summarize the supporting data for a host of adjunct therapies, including ipratropium, intravenous β agonists, methylxanthines, intravenous and inhaled magnesium, heliox (helium-oxygen mixture), ketamine, antibiotics, noninvasive ventilation, inhaled anesthetics, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Finally, we present a suggested care map for escalating to these therapies in children with refractory status asthmaticus.
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