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How do you manage a child patient with an acute asthma exacerbation?


This post is based on the Canadian Medical Association guidelines for managing the paediatric patient with an acute asthma exacerbation

Source: CMA Infobase: Clinical Practice Guidelines Database (CPGs)

Access the resource in PDF


Children with acute asthma exacerbations frequently present to an emergency department with signs of respiratory distress. The most severe episodes are potentially life-threatening. Effective treatment depends on the accurate and rapid assessment of disease severity at presentation.

This statement addresses the assessment, management and disposition of pediatric patients with a known diagnosis of asthma who present with an acute asthma exacerbation, especially preschoolers at high risk for persistent asthma. Guidance includes the assessment of asthma severity, treatment considerations, proper discharge planning, follow-up, and prescription for inhaled corticosteroids to prevent exacerbation and decrease chronic morbidity.

Useful Resources

Classification of asthma severity

Medication Dosages

Corticostroids Administration

Starting Corticosteroids Doses


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