Current management of status asthmaticus in the pediatric ICU

Kelly Keefe Marcoux
Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America 2005, 17 (4): 463-79, xii
Status asthmaticus (SA) in the pediatric ICU (PICU) can progress to a life-threatening emergency. The goal of management is to improve hypoxemia, improve bronchoconstriction, and decrease airway edema through the administration of continuous nebulized beta2 adrenergic agonist with intermittent anticholinergics, corticosteroids, and oxygen. Adjunctive therapies, such as magnesium, methylxanthines, intravenous beta-agonists, heliox, and noninvasive ventilation should be considered in the child who fails to respond to initial therapies. The restoration of adequate pulmonary functions, resolution of airway obstruction, and avoidance of mechanical ventilation should guide management. This article reviews the pathophysiology, assessment, and management of the child who has SA in the PICU to provide the critical care nurse with current information to facilitate optimal care.

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