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Acute respiratory failure in asthma

Author(s): Soubra Said | Guntupalli Kalapalatha

Journal: Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine
ISSN 0972-5229

Volume: 9;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 225;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Asthma | Intensive care | Mechanical ventilation | Severe asthma

Although asthma is a condition that is managed in the outpatient setting in most patients, the poorly controlled and severe cases pose a major challenge to the health-care team. Recognition of the more common insidious and the less common rapid onset "acute asphyxic" asthma are important. The intensivist needs to be familiar with the factors that denote severity of the exacerbation. The management of respiratory failure in asthma, including pharmacologic and mechanical ventilation, are discussed in this article. Two important complications of the positive-pressure ventilation, the dynamic hyperinflation and barotrauma, may be life-threatening. Interventions with helium-oxygen mixtures, anesthesia, and paralysis may be considered in certain situations.
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