Care of the pre-school child with asthma

  • Joan Ramsay

Abstract

Asthma is a common disorder which is difficult to define precisely. It is caused by a variety of factors and the breathlessness which results from it may vary from a brief attack of mild wheezing to prolonged life-threatening episodes of acute dyspnoea as seen in status asthmaticus. The most commonly used definition of asthma describes it as a chronic recurrent condition which is characterized by wide variations to airflow in intrapulmonary airways over short periods of time. It is basically an allergic reaction which is characterized by spasm of the smooth muscle lining the bronchi and bronchioles, hyper-secretion of mucus and mucosal oedema. These changes cause narrowing of the airways. ‘Asthma’ is a Greek word meaning ‘whistling’ and is descriptive of this condition because the large volumes of air which pass through the narrowed airways produce a whistling or wheezing sound.

Keywords

Dust Foam Influenza Hydrocortisone Respiration 

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Copyright information

© Joan Ramsay 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan Ramsay
    • 1
  1. 1.Charles West School of NursingLondonEngland

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