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Asthma

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Asthma is a lung disease that makes breathing difficult. Chronic inflammation and reactions to triggers narrow the airways in the lungs. Asthma can become life-threatening if it is not managed.


CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

You may be at an increased risk for a collapsed lung, a lung infection, or other lung problems. If your asthma is not managed, your symptoms may become more severe or life-threatening.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicines:

  • Bronchodilators open your airways and make it easier to breathe.

  • Steroids reduce inflammation in your airways.

  • Allergy medicines help control allergies that may trigger your asthma.

Monitoring:

  • Pulse oximetry measures the oxygen level in your blood.

  • Your vital signs will be closely monitored. This includes your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing.

  • Blood tests check for infection, measure oxygen levels, and show how well your kidneys are working.

Tests:

  • Lung function tests measure airflow in your lungs and show how well your lungs are working.

  • A chest x-ray will check for other lung problems.

Treatment:

  • IV fluids help prevent dehydration.

  • Oxygen may be given if the level of oxygen in your blood gets too low.

  • A ventilator is a machine that gives you oxygen and breathes for you when you cannot breathe well on your own.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Asthma (Inpatient Care)

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