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  Authority of Polish Society of Allergology

vol 11. no 2. June 2006  

 Postgraduate education
Asthma exacerbations in adults
Józef Małolepszy, Tomasz Dębowski

Asthma exacerbations are frequent events in the natural history of the disease. This review will focus on classification of the severity, risk factors and frequency of asthma exacerbations. Asthma exacerbations are defined as episodes of severe shortness of breath, cough, wheezing and chest tightness. This article briefly describes the multiple factors triggering exacerbations, with special focus on upper respiratory tract infections and on rhinovirus - the main virus implicated in the majority of the exacerbations. The review includes the indices of severity of exacerbations. Mild exacerbations are mostly managed by the patients themselves. Some patients develop moderate to severe slow- or sudden-onset exacerbations. The review underlines the importance of plans for self-management of the exacerbations at home. The authors discuss current asthma exacerbation therapies applied in hospital emergency room, and the criteria for referring the patients to the intensive care unit. Finally, the authors present the criteria for discharging the patient from the emergency ward and actions recommended to be taken by the patient at home.

keywords: zaostrzenia astmy, klasyfikacja ciężkości, czynnik ryzyka, samoleczenie w domu, leczenie w izbie przyjęć i w szpiasthma exacerbations, classification of the severity, risk factors, self-management at home, management in emergency room and hospitaltalu,

pages: from 67 to 75

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