DO NOT give sedatives that may depress respiration or
antihistamines that dry secretions.
DO NOT give aspirin. Many asthmatics are allergic to aspirin.
Procedure for a child is given below.
(a) Give oxygen.
(b) The drug of choice is epinephrine, 1:1000 0.01 ml/kg to 0.3 ml is
the maximum dosage. The dosage may be repeated once or twice every 20 minutes.
Alternative drugs that may be used include the following:
1 Sus-Phrine (1:200 aqueous suspension of epinephrine).
2 Theophylline preparation administered in a 4 mg/kg of body
weight IV in 25 cc D5W over 5-15 minutes not exceeding 25 mg per minute. IV
hydration is important (D5W or D5-saline wide open).
(c) Avoid using sedatives and oral preparations when treating asthma
in an emergency situation.
(d) Aminophylline suppositories are a possible treatment.
Administering epinephrine after the use of over the counter
(OTC) bronchodilators can cause severe circulatory disease or cardiac
(3) In the case of a prolonged asthma attack, consider that the cause might
be an infection or an allergen.
(4) Status asthmaticus is a condition that is considered a medical
emergency. Status asthmaticus is a severe prolonged asthmatic attack that cannot be
broken with epinephrine.
(a) Signs/symptoms include the following:
1 Chest that is severely distended.
2 Severe dyspnea (difficult or labored breathing).
3 Prominent use of accessory muscles.