Oxygen

Virtually all patients with asthma have hypoxemia during acute exacerbations, and the more severe the obstruction, the lower the arterial oxygen tension becomes. It should be administered in high concentrations as there is little risk of promoting hypercapnia because respiratory drive is well maintained. The concentration of oxygen administered should be determined by pulse oximetry and regular arterial blood gases. Humidification of the inspired gas is desirable to lessen the chance of cold-induced bronchoconstriction and to minimize inspissated secretions.

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