When is inpatient care indicated for the treatment of asthma?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: John J Oppenheimer, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Consider admission to a hospital if the patient develops refractory symptoms with a marked decrease in spirometry or borderline oxygenation. Intravenous or oral corticosteroids (3- to 10-d course) may be required.

A reduced forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) or peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) to less than 50% of the patient’s personal best, normocapnia or hypercapnia, severe symptoms, or mental status changes warrants admission to an intensive care unit (ICU).

If the patient responds to therapy, examination findings are normal 1 hour after the last medication dose, and the FEV1 or PEFR is >70% of patient’s personal best, consider discharging the patient home on therapy to include oral steroids and scheduling a follow-up visit within 1 week.


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