Management Of Acute Asthma In The Pediatric Patient: An Evidence-Based Review
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Management Of Acute Asthma In The Pediatric Patient: An Evidence-Based Review

May 2013

Abstract

Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood, with asthma exacerbations and wheezing resulting in more than 2 million emergency department visits per year. Symptoms can vary from mild shortness of breath to fatal status asthmaticus. Given the high prevalence of asthma and its potential to progress from mild to moderate to life-threatening, it is vital for emergency clinicians to have a thorough understanding of acute asthma management. Current evidence clearly supports the use of inhaled bronchodilators and systemic steroids as first-line agents. However, in those who fail to respond to initial therapies, a variety of adjunct therapies and interventions are available with varying degrees of evidence to support their use. This review focuses specifically on evaluation and treatment of pediatric asthma in the emergency department and reviews the current evidence for various modes of treatment.

Key words: pediatric asthma, acute asthma exacerbation, noninvasive ventilation, inhaled beta agonists, oral corticosteroids

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