Emergency Room Treatment of Asthma: Dr. Josyann Abisaab

Asthma, according to The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, affects nearly 34 million Americans.  Each year, over 200,000 emergency room visits are due to allergy attacks, as are 300 deaths.  Serious asthma attacks may warrant a visit to the emergency room where doctors like Dr. Josyann Abisaab will assess the situation and treat the patient accordingly.

Once in the emergency room, there are a number of treatment techniques that doctors may use. These include:

  1. A nebulizer machine with bronchodilators.  These work to relax muscles around the bronchial tissue to help with better breathing.
  2. Iptratropium combined with nebulized albuterol is often used for acute asthma attacks in the E.R.  This helps to stop spasms of the muscles surrounding lung tissue.
  3. An intravenous injection of corticosteroids may be given to reduce the inflammatory processes.
  4. In severe situations, patients may be treated with an injection of adrenergic medications including epinephrine or terbutaline.

Oxygen may be administered through a breathing mask and a pulse oxymeter will most likely be placed on a finger or earlobe to evaluate blood oxygen concentration levels.  While the administration of oxygen won’t stop the attack, it will provide more oxygen to the blood and may help to prevent death.