Asthma is a respiratory disorder characterized by shortness of breath, labored breathing, and wheezing. Onset occurs typically in childhood and the disorder may persist throughout the individual’s life (Feldman, 1976; Khan, 1977). While the exact physiological etiology of asthma is not known, it is apparent that asthma involves a hypersensitivity to allergens as well as emotional factors. Asthma is associated with an obstruction of the bronchioles by smooth muscle spasms and narrowing of bronchiolar walls. This resistance may cause the asthmatic to begin an inhalation before he or she has finished exhaling. Consequently, asthmatics have higher respiratory resistance levels and lowered levels of respiration, as measured by peak expiratory flow rates (PEFR) or forced expiratory volume (FEV) (Danker, Miklich, Pratt, & Creer, 1973).
KeywordsAsthmatic Child Emergency Room Visit Force Expiratory Volume Peak Expiratory Flow Rate Asthmatic Attack
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