How can the asthma be treated?
Rose’s oxygen saturation was 93% on room air; this was assessed using a pulse oximeter. This device calculates the percentage of hemoglobin mixed with oxygen through a light signal that is transmitted via tissue. It involves the palpation of central and peripheral pulses of the patient and the determination of the patient’s blood pressure levels. Resuscitation Council UK, explains that hypercapnia – high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, cannot be detected by this assessment device. Therefore, even with high levels of partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) in the patient, their oxygen saturation (Sp02) may show up as normal if they are getting supplemental oxygen. When oxygen levels are very low, and carbon dioxide is high, it stimulates rapid shallow breathing in the attempt to exhale carbon dioxide and compensate for insufficient oxygen.
Rose was administered salbutamol through an oxygen is driven nebulizer, and a simple face masks with dosage 5mg at 5 liters to open up her airway. It is essential that the nurse listens to the patient’s lung sounds before and after administering the medication. Clear lung sounds indicate that the treatment is actually working.
While there is no cure for asthma, there is treatment given to patients to manage their symptoms and prevent the chances of an asthma attack. Medications for asthma include; bronchodilators such as short-acting beta-adrenoceptor agonists and anticholinergics, which are usually given through inhalers. These are fast-acting medications which cause the smooth muscles in the lungs to relax, dilating the airways and opening them up hence improving the patient’s breathing. Patients with more severe forms of asthma, however, may need additional treatments such as long-acting beta-adrenoceptor agonists, daily corticosteroids or leukotriene antagonists.