When should a patient with asthma be admitted to the ICU?

Updated: Nov 20, 2020
  • Author: Michael J Morris, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Admit the patient to the ICU for close observation and monitoring in certain situations, such as the following:

  • Rapidly worsening asthma or a lack of response to the initial therapy in the emergency department

  • Confusion, drowsiness, signs of impeding respiratory arrest, or loss of consciousness

  • Impending respiratory arrest, as indicated by hypoxemia (PO2< 60 mm Hg) despite supplemental oxygen and/or hypercarbia with PCO2 greater than 45 mm Hg

  • Intubation is required because of the continued deterioration of the patient's condition despite aggressive treatments.

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