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Asthma, Adult

Asthma, Adult is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Increased expiratory resistance:
    • Airway inflammation
    • Bronchospasm
    • Mucosal edema
    • Mucous plugging
    • Smooth muscle hypertrophy
  • Consequences:
    • Air trapping
    • Airway remodeling
    • Increased dead space
    • Hyperinflation
  • Status asthmaticus refers to disease that does not respond to therapy within 30–60 min
  • Risk factors for life-threatening disease:
    • Prior intubations
    • Intensive care unit admissions
    • Chronic steroid use
    • Hospital admission for asthma during the past year
    • Inadequate medical management
    • Increasing age
    • Ethnicity (African Americans)
    • Lack of access to medical care
    • Multiple comorbidities


  • Inflammatory process of the airways evidenced by episodic and reversible airflow obstruction and hyper-responsiveness with many cells and cellular elements contributing to the disease:
    • Neutrophils
    • Mast cells
    • Eosinophils
    • Macrophages
    • T lymphocytes
    • Epithelial cells
    • Cytokines
  • Triggers:
    • Pollen
    • Dust mites
    • Molds
    • Animal dander
    • Other environmental allergens
    • Viral upper respiratory infections
    • Occupational chemicals
    • Tobacco smoke
    • Environmental change
    • Cold air
    • Exercise induced
    • Emotional factors
    • Menstrual associated
    • Drugs:
      • Aspirin
      • NSAIDs
      • β-blockers

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Asthma, Adult." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307267/all/Asthma__Adult.
Asthma, Adult. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307267/all/Asthma__Adult. Accessed April 24, 2019.
Asthma, Adult. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307267/all/Asthma__Adult
Asthma, Adult [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 24]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307267/all/Asthma__Adult.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Asthma, Adult ID - 307267 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307267/all/Asthma__Adult PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -