Emergent management of acute asthma.
In almost no other field is the gap between diagnostic and therapeutic knowledge and its general application so great as it is in asthma. As previously mentioned, most asthma deaths are preventable. Identification of high-risk patients, intensive education about asthma (purpose of each medication; necessity of compliance, particularly with inhaled corticosteroids; proper use of inhalers and spacer devices; home use of PEFR meter), self-treatment of mild or moderate attacks with oral corticosteroids, and written crisis plan for severe attacks explicitly telling the patient what to do and whom to call are necessary. In addition, all potential exacerating factors should be eliminated (external triggers, medication, gastroesophageal reflux, allergic rhinitis, and sinusitis). High doses of inhaled corticosteroids should be provided to all those patients, and referral to a specialist is highly recommended for such high-risk patients.
Abou-Shala, N; MacIntyre, N
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