3 Chronic bronchitis.
4 Acute pulmonary embolism.
a. Chest x-rays usually show nothing abnormal.
b. If the patient shows signs of wheezing and dyspnea, chest x-rays and other
laboratory tests are used to rule out the following:
Pneumothorax (an accumulation of air or gas in the pleural space).
Mucus plugging (a glob of mucus obstructing passageways).
Foreign body obstructing passageways.
a. Purpose. The purpose of treatment in an asthma attack is twofold. First, it is
necessary to treat the symptoms of the attack. Then, causes of the attack should be
diagnosed and treatment begun to prevent further attacks.
b. Hospitalization. Consider hospitalization when the patient has had one or
more of the following situations:
Seventy-two hours of unremitting asthma.
One hour of adequate acute therapy without improvement.
Three trips to the emergency room in three days.
(5) Pulsus paradox (an abnormal decrease in systolic pressure during
inspiration, the decrease being greater than 10 mm of mercury [Hg]).
Sternocleidomastoid muscle and intercostal muscle withdrawing.
Low carbon dioxide pressure (PCO2).