The goal of management of patients with respiratory failure is to restore them to a state of quiet breathing, without complication. This goal is often achieved by pharmacotherapy alone. Inhaled albuterol sulfate, oxygen, and systemic corticosteroids are mainstays of acute care drug management, whereas other data support the use of inhaled steroids, ipratropium bromide, magnesium sulfate, theophylline, and heliox. Assisted ventilation by face mask or endotracheal tube may be required in refractory patients. In intubated patients, a ventilatory strategy that prolongs exhalation time and accepts hypercapnia minimizes lung hyperinflation and generally results in a good outcome. Acute asthma often represents failure of outpatient management; key aspects of the outpatient program should be addressed in the acute care setting to help prevent recurrent attacks. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine