Treatment of Status Asthmaticus


Seventy episodes of status asthmaticus in 46 patients were treated in an acute respiratory care unit. These episodes were divided into three groups on the basis of admission arterial carbon dioxide tension (Paco2) and response to treatment. In 28 episodes Paco2 was less than 40 mm Hg. In 20 episodes Paco2 was greater than 40 mm Hg. Both groups did not require intubation and were treated conservatively with intermittent positive pressure breathing, humidified oxygen, chest physiotherapy, and drugs. There were no deaths in these groups. Twenty-two episodes in which Paco2 was greater than 40 mm Hg required treatment with intubation, drugs, and controlled mechanical ventilation. Two patients in this group died. The mortality is comparable to other large series treated in a similar fashion.

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