Course Work on Bronchial Asthma: Pathophysiology and Medication

Paper Type:  Course work
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1734 Words
Date:  2021-04-26


Brief history of current hospitalization: A sixty-four year old patient presents with intermittent cough that is productive and became severe in the morning. He also has audible wheezes throughout inspiration and expiration and mild dyspnea. No fever or chills. He also reports chest pains and tightness especially while coughing. The pains were of sudden onset, described as dull aching and radiating from the parasternal area to his neck. He has been previously having about three episodes daily which would be relieved in about fifteen minutes apart from today that it was prolonged. He has not had any history of peptic ulcer disease or any known chronic illness. On examination, bilateral lung sound wheezes are felt.

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Reason for admission: admitted to offer mechanical breathing support and monitor any superimposed infection due to the productive cough.

Primary diagnoses: Bronchial Asthma

Secondary diagnoses: Acute Bronchitis

Complications & Co-morbidities: Status asthmaticus, possible pneumonia, and respiratory failure.

Significant past medical history: diagnosed with tuberculosis twelve years ago, allergic to penicillin.

Advance directives: The patient wishes that no further resuscitation is done to him should he fall into a coma with minimal chances of survival. He also disregards any form of invasive surgery done on him should he become incapacitated to make such a decision.

Living arrangements, social status, & support systems: The patient lives with his wife, daughter and a grandson. His other two children frequently visits him as they all live within the state. He is also a beneficiary of the social support program for the elderly offered by his church.

Spiritual and cultural needs: He is a devoted Christian who attends the Catholic Church near his home every Sunday.


Bronchial Asthma is a form of chronic obstructive disease associated with an increased response of the airways to various stimuli which results in spasmodic narrowing of the airways. It presents clinically with a dry cough, wheezing, and dyspnea (Mims, 2015). In some cases, as seen in this patient, it may manifest as status asthmaticus in which the symptoms persist for a prolonged period. In most cases, according to Mims (2015), an atopic stimuli such as dust, fumes and gases causes a hypersensitivity reaction. Mast cells sensitized by IgE on the mucosal surface initiate an acute immediate response. They release immune mediators such as prostaglandins, histamine, platelet activating factors, and other chemotactic factors for neutrophils. The immune response leads to bronchoconstriction, mucus hyper secretion, edema, and accumulation of lecocytes (Doeing & Solway, 2013). Additionally the immune mediators cause inflammatory injury to the respiratory mucosa. The effect is the typical symptoms associated with the disease. In some cases, an upper respiratory tract infection may be superimposed to the illness causing severe complications that may lead to pneumonia. Therefore, this patient needs further evaluation to monitor for an infection or status asthmaticus.


Scheduled medications





Albuterol Beta 2 agonist Aerosol metered-dose inhaler to reduce severe bronchospasm. 90mcg (Base) Tremor



Paradoxical bronchospasms. Contraindicated if hypersensitive to milk proteins.

Monitor potassium and glucose levels in the blood.

Also check for paradox bronchospasms. The patient is experiencing severe coughing, dyspnea, and chest pains due to bronchospasms.

Prednisolone Corticosteroid Oral tablets to reduce inflammatory response of the mucosa 1 tablet (50mg) QID Glucose intolerance


peptic ulcers

weight gain Precaution in diabetic patients, and those with documented hypersensitivity.

Look out for myopathy, and recurrence of infections such as TB. Used for relieving the symptoms resulting from hypersensitivity.

Multivitamin Vitamins and Minerals Oral tablets for Nutritional supplements. 2 tablets QID Constipation

Nausea and Vomiting Monitor for any form of anemia present The patient feeds poorly due to occasional pains and anorexia

Erythromycin Macrolides antibiotics A prophylaxis and treatment of any upper respiratory tract infection 1 tablet (250mg) QID. Dyspepsia

Allergic reactions


Ventricular arrhythmias Continuous monitoring of the heart function to avoid any associated adverse effect Due to the productive cough, the patient may be having a superimposed infection that needs to be controlled

PRN medications (administered within the last 48 hours):





Acetaminophen Analgesics Oral tablets that inhibits synthesis of prostaglandins in CNS and block the generation of pain impulse peripherally 1 tablet (160mg) TID Liver failure



Pruritic maculopapular rash Monitor for any signs of liver disease.

Used in caution for patients with G6PD deficiency or chronic malnutrition Used due to the severe chest pains that were being experienced. Cant use NSAIDs as they may exacerbate the condition

Albuterol Beta 2 agonist Aerosol metered-dose inhaler to reduce severe bronchospasm. 90mcg (Base) Tremor



Paradoxical bronchospasms Contraindicated if hypersensitive to milk proteins.

Monitor potassium and glucose levels in the blood. The patient is experiencing severe coughing, dyspnea, and chest pains due to bronchospasms.



Full Blood Count- The patient indicates an elevated white blood cell count without left shift. Differential count indicates eosinophilia. A CBC and differential count is critical in evaluation of bronchial asthma to rule out infectious causes. According to Mims (2015), it may demonstrate leukocytosis with or without a left shift. However, due to the albuterol medication which is a beta 2 agonist, demargination may cause an increase in peripheral white cell count.

Arterial Blood Gas-The FEV of the patient is at 28% which calls for urgent intensive care. The value of ABG may be used to evaluate how severe the asthmatic attack is and determine the significance of admission for intensive care. The determination is of clinical significance if the Forced Expiratory Volume is less than 30% of the predicted value and the patient is experiencing dyspnea or fatigue (Melani, 2013).

Diagnostic Tests:

Pulmonary Function Testing- this test is executed by measuring the Peak expiratory Volume to evaluate the function of the lungs in accordance to the presenting symptom. In this patient, the decrease in in peak flow as a fraction of the predicted value is in accordance with the spirometry values. It is at 55%. According to Rance (2011), admission is recommended for patients whose FEV1 or PEF is between 50% to 70% of the predictive value after treatment. This is the reason why this patient had to be admitted. Spirometry is then used to monitor how the disease progresses, and helps in treatment adjustment according to improvement realized.

Point of Care Testing:

A POCT done on the patient was checking for his blood glucose regularly to evaluate the effect of medications. They random sugars were slightly elevated but fasting blood sugar indicated a normal level. According to Melani (2013), serum glucose levels may be elevated in asthmatic patients due to psychological stress and use of the beta 2 agonists and corticosteroids.

Pulse oximetry- this test, usually done at the bedside, provides a continuous assessment of oxygen saturation as reduced levels may cause hypoxia.


On examination, the patient is in obvious respiratory distress evident from the use of accessory muscles in breathing. No jaundice, no parlor, no finger clubbing, no cyanosis, no lymphadenopathy, no edema, mildly dehydrated and wasted. He is on IV fluids from his left arm. On his bedside is an aerosol spray of albuterol. He is on artificial oxygen with an oxygen gas mask. No drainage devices, or any other therapeutic device.

Respiratory Rate- 28 breaths per minute

Blood Pressure- 136/105

Heart rate- 115beats per minute

Temperature- 38 degree Celsius








Ineffective breathing pattern To maintain a normal Pattern of breathing evaluated through a normal rate of respiration (below 20bpm), and absence of dyspnea Evaluation of the vital signs while the patient is in distress

Evaluate the respiratory depth and rhythm

Evaluate the level of anxiety

Listen for abnormal breathe sounds such as wheezes. Initial hypoxia and hypercapnia results in increased BP, RR, and HR (Doeing & Solway, 2013).

An early sign of impending respiratory distress is change in the rate and rhythm of the process (Mims, 2015).

The patient may become anxious for being unable to breathe well (Mims, 2015).

Worsening condition of asthma may be indicated by abnormal sounds in the respiratory pathway. The patient was free from respiratory distress after medication. His new RR was 18bpm while the HR reduced to 84bpm

Ineffective Airway Clearance The patient should be able to maintain the patency of the airway evidenced by clear breath sounds and ability to cough out secretions appropriately. Look for color changes in the buccal mucosa and lips

Evaluate the color, amount, and viscosity of the secretions.

Monitor the saturation of oxygen using the pulse oximetry

Monitor the white blood cell count According to Mims (2015), cyanosis may occur due to inadequate peripheral oxygenation.

Normal sputum is usually clear or gray in color without any odour (Doeing & Solway, 2013).

Oxygenation problems may be indicated by saturation levels below 90% (Melani, 2013)

If it is increased, there could be a superimposed infection(Doeing & Solway, 2013) The patient was able to maintain a patent airway after two days of admission. There was no wheezing and the secretions were being coughed out effectively.

Deficient knowledge about the disease The patient, together with the close relatives be informed about the disease, its management during attacks, and the community support available to such patients Evaluate the patients knowledge of care for asthmatic attacks or status asthmaticus

Evaluate the knowledge of the patient on their particular inflammatory triggers

Educate the client about environmental triggers and how they can be avoided

Educate on how to use the nebulizers and nasal sprays correctly Such knowledge helps in saving time by handling care for themselves

Identifying these triggers help the patient to avoid attacks by avoiding them.

Environmental triggers such as exercises, smoking, and air pollution may increase the frequency of attacks (Rance, 2011).

To ensure appropriate delivery of the medication in required doses The patient was taught about various aspects of Asthma and it was evident by him informing his family members about the disease. He was also using the pressured metered dose on his own.


Discharge to (level of care):

Discharge home. The level of care provided by the family members is sufficient as the dyspnea is reduced and infections controlled. Additionally, the community nurses will be visiting him after every month to assess his progress

Post-Acute Care Follow-up/Transitional Care:

The nurses in c...

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Course Work on Bronchial Asthma: Pathophysiology and Medication. (2021, Apr 26). Retrieved from

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