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Asthma Notes

Medicine Notes > Respiratory Notes

This is an extract of our Asthma document, which we sell as part of our Respiratory Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Leicester students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Respiratory Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Asthma An inflammatory condition causing reversible airway obstruction Epidemiology
- 2000 deaths a year in UK
- Prevalence 10-15%
- Classified as o Extrinsic (childhood, associated with atopy, remits in teens) o Intrinsic (develops later in life, doesn't respond to rx well) o Occupational (relates to workplace allergen) Aetiology
- Genetic predisposition o Runs in families with atopy (eczema, hayfever, asthma, conjunctivitis)
- Environmental factors o Drugs (aspirin, B blockers) o Allergens (dust, pollen, animal hair) o Occupational (wood, dust, dye) o Environmental (cold air, exercise, emotion) Pathophysiology 3 factors contribute to airway narrowing 1) Bronchial muscle contraction + hypertrophy 2) Mucosal inflammation caused by mast cells + basophil degranulation, resulting in release of inflammatory cytokines 3) Increased mucus production Clinical features Symptoms (all INTERMITTENT) Dyspnoea Wheeze Nocturnal cough Sputum Diurnal variation of peak flow +
symptoms (worse in morning) Decreased exercise tolerance

Signs Tachpnoea Audible wheeze Hyperinflated chest Hyperresonant percussion note Decreased air entry Widespread, polyphonic wheeze

Assessing the severity of an asthma attack
- Moderate o PEFR < 65% predicted (admit) o Low pO2, low pCO2 (normal or low pH)
- Severe o PEFR < 50% predicted (alert ITU) o Pulse > 110bpm o Resp rate > 25 o Inability to complete sentences o Wheezy chest o Alert/mild confusion o Very low pO2, normal pCO2, normal pH
- Life threatening

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