Life-threatening Asthma: Focus on Lung Protection

  • H. Quiroz Martínez
  • N. D. Ferguson
Conference paper


Acute asthma exacerbation is a common medical emergency; approximately 10% of asthma related hospital admissions will require intensive care and, despite aggressive medical therapy, 4% will develop life-threatening asthma requiring endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation for persistent respiratory failure. Not surprisingly, patients with life-threatening asthma have high morbidity and mortality. In this chapter, we will review the pathophysiology of dynamic hyperinflation and respiratory failure in asthma, and armed with this knowledge we describe how to provide lung protective mechanical ventilation while delivering adequate oxygenation and maximizing medical therapy. We will also comment on the different rescue therapies available for patients with refractory respiratory failure who fail mechanical ventilation.


Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Functional Residual Capacity Acute Asthma Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation Status Asthmaticus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Quiroz Martínez
    • 1
  • N. D. Ferguson
    • 1
  1. 1.Interdepartmental Division of Critical CareToronto Western HospitalTorontoCanada

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