[Quiz] Is your Asthma patient ready to go home?


The blood gas of your patient with asthma has changed from alkalotic (hyperventilation causing alkalosis) back to normal. The patient seems to be sleeping. What's your next step? Is the patient ready to go home?

Answer will be given on 25th March 2010


Of course no! If the blood gas has changed back to normal, this might means that the patient is probably crashing. Alkalosis in an asthma patient is caused by hyperventilation due to CO2 elimination.

If patient becomes tired and does not breath appropriately, CO2 will begin to rise back. This causes patient to become acidotic and compensate alkalosis to back to normal. Thus, patient might require emergency intubation if no appropriate measure is taken.

Asthmatic patients are supposed to be slightly alkalosis during an asthma attack. The next step to be taken: prepare for an elective intubation and to continue aggresive medical treatment with beta2 agonists, steroids, and oxygen.

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