Respiratory: Asthma Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Respiratory: Asthma Deck (14):
1

What is asthma?

A chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways resulting in reversible airway obstruction - inflammation, bronchoconstriction and mucus

2

What is the consequence of repetitive episodes of asthma?

The airway undergoes remodelling, there is damaged epithelium and increased smooth muscle thickness

3

What are some allergens that can trigger asthma?

Indoor allergens: pets, dust mites, mould
Outdoor allergens: pollens, tobacco smoke, pollutants
Others: Cold air, exercise, medications such as NSAIDs and beta blockers

4

What are some of the signs and symptoms of asthma?

Recurrent wheeze, breathlessness, chest tightness
Cough - dry, worse at night, exercise induced
Variable airflow obstruction

5

What is a wheeze?

A high pitched, expiratory musical sound from narrowed airways (compression or obstruction)

6

How can you assess difficulty in breathing?

In adults - measure RR and look for accessory muscle use
In children - recession of the IC muscles, nasal flaring, tracheal tug (because in children the skin and tissues are more pliable)

7

What is atopy?

A genetic tendency to develop allergies eg eczema, hayfever, allergies and asthma all grouped together
So look for these in PMH

8

What is the gold standard of diagnosis of asthma?

Spirometry however due to long waiting lists, it is more practical to give a months trial of bronchodilators and measure peak flows. If they help then continue to treat as asthma

9

How can you help pts to prevent asthma exacerbations?

Change bedding, pillows etc every few years
Get fresh air
Stop smoking

10

What is a short acting beta agonist?

Salbutamol inhaler (use with a spacer in children)
If used more than 3x a week or there are nocturnal symptoms eg coughing or wheezing more than once a week need a preventer inhaler

11

What does the brown preventer inhaler do?

Contains a steroid to inhibit inflammatory cells and mediators.
Aims to prevent attacks rather than treat attacks

12

What is a long acting beta agonist?

Salmeterol inhaler
Has a slower onset of action so not used for acute asthma attacks

13

How would you treat a severe asthma attack?

- give oxygen
- give salbutamol and atrovent nebulisers back to back
- get IV access in case you need to give IV salbutamol
- be prepared to intubate and admit to ITU

14

What is the nature of the airflow obstruction in asthma\?

Restrictive

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