Immediate Questions

A. Does patient have impending respiratory failure or a life-threatening condition that requires immediate attention (eg, tension pneumothorax)? Respiratory failure leads to respiratory arrest if early recognition and intervention are lacking. Prognosis is poor in children who undergo respiratory arrest.

B. Is patient apneic, hypoxic, or hypoventilating? Differential diagnosis and management are shaped by this distinction.

C. What clinical features are associated with respiratory distress in this patient? Fever suggests an infectious etiology. Symptoms of upper respiratory infection are consistent with viral cause. Anaphylaxis is a consideration if distress is temporally associated with a particular food or medicine.

D. Has patient or a family member had a similar episode? This type of pattern can be seen with asthma.

Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

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