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How do you treat a severe asthma attack?

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Use your rescue inhaler or nebulizer at the first sign. If your symptoms don�t go away after you've followed your asthma action plan, call 911 and get medical help. You can take a dose of glucocorticoid medicine (such as prednisone), if you have one, on your way to the emergency room, but you still need to make the trip.

At the hospital, you may be put on a continuous asthma nebulizer as well as epinephrine and corticosteroids to stop the attack. You may get terbutaline shots and magnesium sulfate to help the muscles around your airways relax.

If medicines don�t help, you may need a mechanical ventilator in an intensive care unit to help you breathe temporarily.

SOURCES:

Smolley, L. and Bruce, D. New York, Random House, 1998. Breathe Right Now,

American Family Physician , 2003.

American Academy of Family Physicians: "The Crashing Asthmatic." Expert Panel report 2: guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma.

National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 1997; NIH publication no. 97-4051.

Guidelines 2000 for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Part 8: advanced challenges in resuscitation: section 3: special challenges in ECC.

The American Heart Association in collaboration with the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation. 2000. Circulation,

UpToDate: “Management of asthma exacerbations: Emergency department and hospital-based care.”

Medscape: “Status Asthmaticus.”

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava on January 7, 2020

SOURCES:

Smolley, L. and Bruce, D. New York, Random House, 1998. Breathe Right Now,

American Family Physician , 2003.

American Academy of Family Physicians: "The Crashing Asthmatic." Expert Panel report 2: guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma.

National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 1997; NIH publication no. 97-4051.

Guidelines 2000 for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Part 8: advanced challenges in resuscitation: section 3: special challenges in ECC.

The American Heart Association in collaboration with the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation. 2000. Circulation,

UpToDate: “Management of asthma exacerbations: Emergency department and hospital-based care.”

Medscape: “Status Asthmaticus.”

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava on January 7, 2020

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