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Failing Asthmatic 

Failing Asthmatic
Failing Asthmatic
Acute Care Casebook

David Poliner

, Philip Nawrocki

, and Benjamin J. Lawner


This case presents a patient with an acute asthma exacerbation progressing to respiratory failure. The differential diagnosis of acute respiratory distress is discussed along with the signs and diagnostic adjuncts that may be used to confirm the diagnosis of status asthmaticus. Treatment of severe acute asthma may include oxygen, albuterol, epinephrine, steroids, and magnesium. The signs of respiratory failure are reviewed along with its initial management, the use of noninvasive ventilation, and the use of rapid sequence induction to intubate and perform mechanical ventilation to the patient in respiratory failure. Ventilator settings for patients with restrictive lung disease are also discussed.

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