Indexed on: 09 Sep '10Published on: 09 Sep '10Published in: The Indian Journal of Pediatrics
Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways characterized by recurrent wheezing, breathlessness, and coughing. Acute exacerbations of asthma can be life-threatening; annual worldwide estimated mortality is 250,000 and most of these deaths are preventable. While most of the acute exacerbations can be managed successfully in the emergency room, few children have severe exacerbations requiring intensive care. Mainstay of treatment for status asthmaticus are inhaled β2 agonist and anticholinergic agents, oxygen along with corticosteroids. Children who do not respond well to initial treatment require parenteral β2 agonist and magnesium. Rarely, sick children need parenteral aminophylline infusion and mechanical ventilation. Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment, ventilator management and supportive care for status asthmaticus in children are discussed in the protocol.