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The Patient with Dyspnea


Respiratory Diseases - COPD. Blanket term for diseases that impede the functioning of the lungs ... Signs & Symptoms of COPD. Chronic bronchitis. Chronic ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Patient with Dyspnea

The Patient with Dyspnea
  • April 2009 CE
  • Site Code 107200-E-1209
  • Prepared by Lt. William Hoover, Wauconda Fire
  • Reviewed/revised by Sharon Hopkins, RN, BSN,

  • Upon successful completion of this module, the
    EMS provider will be able to
  • Identify the anatomy and physiology of the
    respiratory system including
  • The upper airway
  • The lower airway
  • Identify clues which will assist in determining
    the severity of a patients respiratory distress.
  • Discuss assessment of patients with dyspnea.

  • Identify history and physical exam of patients
    with dyspnea.
  • Initial assessment
  • SAMPLE history
  • Physical Assessment
  • Auscultation of Lung Sounds
  • 12 Lead EKG

  • Identify abnormal respiratory patterns and
    adventitious breath sounds.
  • Cheyne-Stokes
  • Kussmauls
  • Agonal respirations
  • Crackles
  • Wheezes
  • Rhonchi
  • Snoring

  • Identify the main causes of dyspnea
  • Upper airway obstruction
  • Respiratory disease processes
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Other causes
  • Psychogenic hyperventilation

  • Identify treatment options for the main causes of
  • Upper airway obstruction
  • Respiratory disease processes
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Other causes
  • Psychogenic hyperventilation
  • Identify complications of different treatments
    and procedures associated with dyspnea

  • Identify the following medications and their uses
    for patients with dyspnea
  • Albuterol
  • Benadryl
  • Benzocaine
  • Epinephrine 11000
  • Lasix
  • Versed
  • Successfully return demonstrate intubation on the
    adult and pediatric manikins
  • Successfully assemble the Albuterol kit and
    convert the kit for in-line use
  • Successfully demonstrate use of the combitube if
    used by the department

Anatomy Physiology of Upper Airway
  • Nasal cavity
  • Oral cavity
  • Tongue
  • Uvula
  • Epiglottis protects trachea during swallowing
  • Vocal cords

Anatomy and Physiology Lower Airway
  • Trachea
  • Right and left mainstem bronchi
  • Bronchial tree
  • Lungs
  • Lobes
  • Alveoli the functional unit of the respiratory
    system where gas exchange occurs

Upper Airway
Lower Airway
Difference With the Pediatric Airway
  • Fundamentally the same as an adult
  • Size and positioning differences
  • Jaw smaller, tongue relatively larger
  • Epiglottis floppier and rounder
  • Larynx more superior and anterior (higher and
    more forward) in children

Determining the Severity of Respiratory Distress
  • Posture Sitting up, leaning on arms (Tripod)
  • Unable to speak complete sentences without
    pausing to catch breath
  • Breathlessness when at rest
  • Imminent respiratory failure or arrest indicated
    by bradycardia, bradypnea, agonal respirations or

Tripod position
Pediatric Respiratory Distress
  • Patient exhibits increased work of breathing and
    the patient is using all resources to compensate
    for self
  • Child alert, irritable, anxious, restless
  • Increased respiratory effort
  • Use of accessory muscles
  • Intercostal retractions
  • Seesaw respirations (abdominal breathing)
  • Strained neck muscles

Pediatric Respiratory Failure
  • Energy reserves exhausted
  • Patient cannot maintain adequate oxygenation and
    ventilation (breathing)
  • Sleepy, less than alert
  • Intermittently combative or agitated
  • Bradycardic heart rate indicates hypoxia
  • Immediate attention to airway and ventilation
    rate to fix the bradycardia

Assessing Patients with Dyspnea
  • Primary Assessment (ABCs)
  • SAMPLE history
  • Physical Assessment
  • Lung Sounds
  • 12 Lead EKG
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Acceptable normal 95 99
  • Mild hypoxia 91 94
  • Severe hypoxia lt91

Abnormal Respiratory patterns
  • Cheyne-Stokes
  • Indicates brainstem injury
  • Kussmauls
  • Commonly found in diabetic ketoacidosis and can
    be seen in Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid)
  • Agonal
  • Indicates brain anoxia

Auscultating Lung Sounds
  • Warm your stethoscope, have the patient cough to
    clear their airway and then youre ready to
  • The patient should
    take deep but easy
    breaths breathing in
    and out through
    their mouth

Auscultating Anterior Lung Sounds
Auscultating Posterior Lung Sounds
  • Start at the top and
    move your stethoscope
    from the right to the
    left comparing the
    sides as you walk
    your stethoscope
    methodically downward
  • Sounds are heard better when auscultated in the
    posterior fields directly over the skin

Abnormal Lung Sounds
  • Crackles (rales)
  • Fine, bubbling sound heard on inspiration
    indicates fluid in smaller airways
  • Wheezes
  • Musical, squeaking, whistling sound heard usually
    on inspiration expiration indicates bronchial
  • Rhonchi
  • Coarse, rattling noise on inspiration, indicates
    inflammation, mucous, or fluid in bronchioles
  • Snoring
  • Indicates partial upper airway obstruction

Main Causes of Dyspnea
Upper Airway Obstruction
  • Foreign body
  • Airway blocked food most common culprit
  • Infections causes airway swelling
  • Croup viral infection
  • Epiglottitis bacterial infection
  • Anaphylaxis severe reaction to allergen
  • Sudden onset after exposure (eating or injection
  • Laryngospasm closure of glottic opening
  • May be triggered by infection or irritants
  • Blood thinners (Coumadin, Plavix)
  • Spontaneous hematomas in soft tissue of neck

Foreign Body Obstruction
  • Esophageal foreign bodies can also present an
    airway challenge especially if the foreign body

Respiratory Diseases - Asthma
  • Bronchoconstriction
  • Stimulants cause inflammatory response
  • Stimulants can include
  • Allergens
  • Weather changes
  • Exercise
  • Respiratory infections
  • Foods/medications

Respiratory Diseases - COPD
  • Blanket term for diseases that impede the
    functioning of the lungs
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Increased mucous production in the bronchial tree
  • Decreased gas exchange in the alveoli
  • Irreversible airway obstruction
  • Emphysema
  • Destruction of alveolar walls
  • Loss of capacity for lungs to recoil
  • Irreversible airway obstruction

COPD vs. Healthy Lungs
Respiratory Diseases - Pneumonia
  • Infection of lower respiratory tract
  • Primarily a ventilation problem
  • Can be bacterial or non-bacterial
  • Mycoplasma
  • Chlamydia
  • Viral
  • Tuberculosis
  • Fluid and inflammatory cells collect in the
  • 5th leading overall cause of death in the USA

Aspiration A Deadly Complication
Respiratory Disorders
  • Pneumothorax
  • Abnormal collection of air in the pleural space
  • Spontaneous or traumatic
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Arterial blockage to pulmonary circulation
  • Venous clots
  • Embolism can also be from fat, bone marrow, tumor
    fragments, amniotic fluid, or air bubbles
  • Toxic inhalation

Pulmonary Embolism
Cardiovascular Diseases
  • CHF with acute pulmonary edema
  • Impaired pumping ability of the heart
  • Acute Myocardial Infarction
  • Death of heart muscle

CHF with Pulmonary Edema
Neuromuscular Diseases
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Wasting disease of the muscles
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Lou Gehrigs disease
  • Muscular dystrophy caused by degeneration of
    motor neurons of the spinal cord
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Myasthenia gravis

Guillain-Barre Syndrome
Other Causes of Dyspnea
  • Anemia
  • Inadequate hemoglobin in the blood
  • Unable to supply bodys oxygen demands
  • Hyperthyroid disease increases rate of
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Psychogenic hyperventilation
  • Psychological causes

Signs and Symptoms for Patients with Dyspnea
Signs Symptoms of Impaired Airway
  • Foreign body (FB)
  • Sensation of a FB after eating (food is the 1
    cause of airway obstruction)
  • Stridor or wheezing respirations
  • Infection (epiglottitis, croup)
  • Gradual onset
  • Pain on swallowing, drooling
  • Difficulty opening mouth
  • Fever, cough, seal bark cough

Signs Symptoms of Impaired Airway
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Hives
  • Rash that itches
  • Wheezing
  • Hypotension unique to anaphylaxis
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Inability to urinate
  • Is quickly life-threatening

Signs Symptoms of Asthma
  • Cough
  • Wheezes
  • Heard first at the end of exhalation
  • Absent breath sounds deadly implications
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness (not to be confused with chest
  • Use of accessory muscles in severe cases
  • Ask if the patient has ever needed intubation
  • These patients tend to deteriorate faster and
    need careful and close monitoring

  • Most COPD patients have elements of both chronic
    bronchitis and emphysema
  • Abnormal ventilation is a common feature
  • Often the cilia lining the respiratory tract are
  • Common findings
  • Bronchospasm
  • Some elements are reversible, some are not
  • Inflammation of respiratory passages
  • Air trapping distal to the obstruction
  • Desensitization to a chronic state of hypoxia
  • Patients susceptible to repeat respiratory

Signs Symptoms of COPD
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic productive cough
  • Tend to be obese with low blood oxygen levels
    (referred to as blue bloaters)
  • Wheezing, crackles, or rhonchi can all be
  • Rising carbon dioxide blood levels
  • Emphysema
  • Typically thinner build with barrel chests
  • Hyperventilating to maintain blood oxygen levels
  • Color usually good (referred to as pink
  • Lungs sounds seem very distant
  • Use pursed lip breathing when exhaling

Signs Symptoms of Pneumonia
  • Patients generally appearing ill and feel ill
  • Shaking chills
  • Fever
  • Generalized weakness with gradual onset
  • Pleuritic chest pain
  • Shortness of breath with tachypnea
  • Tachycardia
  • Productive cough yellow to brown sputum
  • Crackles in involved lung segment
  • May also hear wheezes and rhonchi

Signs Symptoms of Spontaneous Pneumothorax
  • Sudden sharp, pleuritic chest pain or shoulder
  • May occur after coughing
  • Diminished lung sounds
  • May be difficult to distinguish in smaller sized
    lung collapse (lt20)
  • Young individuals with tall, thin body types are
    most susceptible
  • Tachypnea
  • Diaphoresis
  • Possible subcutaneous emphysema

Signs and Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism
  • Symptoms can be non-specific and vary depending
    on the site and size of obstruction
  • Sudden onset severe unexplained dyspnea
  • Pleuritic chest pain may be present
  • Cough, usually non-productive but occasionally
    blood tinged
  • Tachycardia tachypnea
  • In severe cases, confusion, hypoxia, cyanosis,
    hypotension, death

Signs Symptoms of CHF/Acute Pulmonary Edema
  • Dyspnea at rest
  • Unable to lie flat
  • Crackles in lungs heard initially in the bases
  • Dependent edema pedal edema in the mobile
  • JVD especially in the upright position
  • Acute MI (AMI)
  • Dyspnea may be the initial symptom
  • At times difficult to determine which came first
    AMI affecting function of the heart or hypoxia
    leading to AMI

Signs Symptoms of Neuromuscular Diseases
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Chronic progressive wasting of muscles
  • Difficulty swallowing and speaking
  • Mental functions remain lucid
  • Guillian-Barre syndrome
  • Weakness starting distally (hands/feet) moving
    upward - ascending paralysis ending in
    temporary paralysis
  • Sensory loss or decreased reflexes
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Weakness that improves with rest, worsens with
  • Crisis level can affect respiratory muscles

Treatment Options
Treatment Airway Obstruction
  • Foreign body
  • Remove the object
  • Patient can cough on own or rescuer needs to
    apply the Heimlich (back slaps and chest thrusts
    for infants)
  • May need to use blade and handle and retrieve
    object while using the magill forceps
  • Secure the airway if unable to relieve the
    blockage (Quick Trach)
  • Infections Croup or epiglottits
  • Prehospital supportive care
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • 6 ml normal saline in nebulizer kit
  • Albuterol if patient is wheezing with croup

Treatment Adult Anaphylaxis
  • Anaphylaxis patient unstable
  • Altered mental status B/P lt100 systolic
  • Support airway intubate as necessary
  • IV wide open (1000 ml normal saline)
  • Epi 11000 IM 0.5 mg
  • Benadryl 50 mg IVP slowly over 2 min or IM
  • If wheezing, Albuterol 2.5mg/3ml
  • May repeat
  • If worsening, contact medical control
  • Medical Control may order Epi 110,000 IV/IO

Treatment Pediatric Anaphylaxis
  • Anaphylaxis patient unstable
  • Altered mental status
  • Epi 11000 IM 0.01 mg/kg (max 0.3 mg or 0.3 ml
    per dose)
  • May repeat every 15 minutes
  • Benadryl 1mg/kg slow IVP max 50 mg
  • IV fluid challenge 20ml/kg
  • May repeat as needed to max of 60 ml/kg
  • Albuterol 2.5mg/3ml
  • May repeat Albuterol treatment
  • If worsening, contact medical control
  • To consider Epinephrine 110,000 at 0.01 mg/kg

Treatment of Asthma
  • Attempt pulse oximetry reading before
    administration of oxygen
  • Assess record VS, breath sounds, pulse oximetry
    before/during/after treatment
  • Oxygen by most appropriate route
  • Albuterol 2.5 mg/3ml (O2 flow at 6 L)
  • Severe cases, treat while transporting

Treatment of Severe Asthma
  • Patients with inadequate ventilations or
    oxygenation are at risk of not being able to
    continue to ventilate themselves and will need
  • Provide in-line Albuterol therapy to deliver
    medications to the lungs
  • Albuterol can be delivered via BVM in-line while
    preparing to intubate the patient
  • Once intubation is accomplished, continue to
    deliver Albuterol via the in-line method

Treatment of Pneumonia
  • Supportive care
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Patient usually dehydrated and fluid therapy is
  • Need to be accurate on diagnosis
  • Pneumonia needs fluid therapy
  • CHF/Pulmonary edema needs fluid restriction
  • CPAP may help patient in severe cases

Treatment of Spontaneous Pneumothorax
  • Majority of spontaneous pneumothorax are not
    detected in the field breath sounds not
    appreciated to be diminished
  • Care is supportive
  • O2 via NRB mask
  • Assist patient in sitting upright
  • Monitor for change to tension pneumothorax
  • Tension pneumothorax needs needle decompression

Treatment of Pulmonary Embolism
  • Supportive care
  • Rapid transport
  • High flow oxygen possible intubation
  • Rapidly fatal once patient arrests
  • Hospital treatment may include anticoagulation or
    surgery to remove clot

Treatment of Stable Pulmonary Edema B/P gt100 mmHg
  • All therapies cause vasodilation and may drop the
    B/P monitor B/P carefully
  • Nitroglycerin 0.4 mg SL (max 3 doses)
  • Consider CPAP
  • Lasix 40 mg IVP (80 mg if on Lasix at home)
  • Morphine 2 mg slow IVP may repeat every 2
    minutes to max of 10 mg)
  • If wheezing, contact Medical Control for
    Albuterol order

Interventions For Pulmonary Edema
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Used for its venodilation effects to pool blood
    away from the heart
  • CPAP
  • Prevents collapse of the alveoli also lowers B/P
  • Lasix
  • Diuretic effect will take approximately 20
    minutes but venodilation effect evident in the
    field to pool blood
  • Morphine
  • Reduces anxiety level
  • Also a venodilator and will pool blood away from
    the heart

Treatment of Cardiac Complaints
  • At minimum consider EKG monitor
  • Consider early 12 Lead EKG
  • Take 12 lead as soon as possible
  • STEMI ST elevation in 2 or more contiguous
    leads (I, aVL, V5, V6 II, III, aVF V1 V6)
  • Cardiac Alert
  • Contact ED early to decrease door to balloon time
  • Transmit 12 lead EKG to hospital
  • Treat abnormal rhythms

Treatment of Neuromuscular Disorders
  • Conscious sedation intubation if necessary
  • If lung muscles do not work, we have to do it for
  • Supportive care
  • May have to assist patient with BVM
  • In chronic cases, these patients fatigue easily
  • These patients are prone to chronic infection

Treatment of Hyperventilation
  • Determine treatment based on situation
  • Could be deadly to assume these patients are
    hyperventilating and a psych patient
  • Do not have people blow into a bag
  • Inappropriate to place an O2 mask on patient and
    not connect it to oxygen!!!
  • Use verbal counseling on patient to slow their
    breathing down if possible

Procedure for Adult Intubation
  • Patient must be pre-oxygenated (100 O2)
  • Equipment checked
  • Blade and handle
  • Straight blade preferred for pediatric patients
    due to floppy epiglottis and large sized tongue
  • Light is bright and tight
  • ET tube and one back-up tube
  • Stylet adult or pediatric
  • Syringe for adult ET tube cuff inflation
  • Mechanism to secure tube in place (ie tape,
    commercial tube holder device)

Confirming ET Tube Placement
  • Max of 30 seconds for intubation attempt time
  • Immediately after intubation, remove the style to
    prevent delay in initiating ventilations
  • As ventilations are begun, perform 5 point
  • Auscultate 1st over the epigastrium
  • Then auscultate 4 points over the lungs
  • Observe bilateral rise fall of the chest
  • Ventilate 1 breath every 6 8 seconds
  • Inflate the adult cuff until no air leak heard
  • Observe yellow coloring on ETCO2 device

Procedure for Pediatric Intubation
  • Steps nearly identical to the adult
  • Straight blade preferable due to floppy
    epiglottis and large sized tongue
  • The pediatric ET tube up to and including size 6
    is uncuffed
  • The pediatric patient somewhat has their own cuff
    effect anatomically due to the natural narrowing
    of the airway at the cricoid cartilage
  • Always watch for gentle chest rise and fall to
    dictate the amount of volume to use with the BVM

Conscious Sedation Intubation
  • Indications
  • Failure to maintain adequate airway or for risk
    of aspiration
  • Actual or impending respiratory failure
  • GCS lt8 due to head injury
  • Inability to ventilate/oxygenate patient after
    insertion of airway and/or BVM
  • Anticipated deterioration

Conscious Sedation Intubation
  • Contraindication
  • Age less than 16
  • Need permission from Medical Control
  • B/P lt 100mmHg
  • Known hypersensitivity or allergy to the
  • Consider risk vs benefit if the patient is

Conscious Sedation Medications
  • Lidocaine 1.5 mg/kg IVP only once
  • If head injury/insult to decrease cough reflex
  • Versed 5 mg IVP relax/sedate patient
  • 2 mg repeated every minute to relax and sedate
    patient (1 mg every 5 minutes post procedure to
    maintain sedation)
  • Total dose used is 15 mg including post-procedure
  • Morphine 2 mg IVP slow over 2 minutes relax pt
  • Repeat every 3 minutes to a max of 10 mg
  • Benzocaine spray eliminate gag reflex
  • Limited to 1-2 short sprays to posterior pharynx

In-line Albuterol Kit
  • Albuterol can be delivered via BVM or through ET
  • Prepare kit as usual but take mouthpiece off
  • Add BVM to where mouthpiece was
  • Add adaptor to distal end of corrugated tube and
    prepare to connect the adaptor to ET tube
  • Need to confirm ET tube placement in the usual
  • Can start to bag patient delivering Albuterol
    prior to ET tube placement

In-line Albuterol Kit
  • Take off mouthpiece and replace with BVM
  • Add adaptor to end of blue corrugated tubing and
    attach to mask (or ET tube)
  • Can begin to ventilate patient before intubation

CPAP Device
  • Place a non-rebreather O2 mask while setting up
    the equipment
  • Medications are administered along with CPAP
  • Medications and CPAP used can all cause a drop in
    blood pressure monitor carefully
  • Connect fixed Whisperflow generator to portable
    O2 regulator
  • Open packaging and attach patient corrugated
    tubing to bottom of generator
  • Add filter to side of generator

CPAP contd
  • Attach other end of patient tubing to bottom of
  • Attach 10 cm isobaric peep valve to front of mask
  • Connect head strap to top one side of mask
  • Turn on O2 tank
  • Place mask over patients face and make final
    strap connections
  • Quick connect generator to on-board O2 source
    during transport

CPAP Device
  • In under 5 minutes patients will feel better
  • Patients need psychological support to get over
    the suffocating feeling from the tight fitting

  • Indications
  • Arrested patient, unresponsive medical or trauma
    patient with no gag reflex and ET tube placement
    cannot be achieved
  • Contraindications
  • Age less than 16
  • This tube is a one size fits all so limited use
    in pediatric patients and short adults (less than
    5 feet)
  • Gag reflex present
  • Known esophageal disorder/caustic ingestion

  • Hyperventilate patient prior to insertion
  • Check and prepare equipment lubricating distal
  • Perform a tongue-jaw lift
  • Insert device in mid-line and to depth until
    printed ring is at level of teeth
  • Inflate pharyngeal cuff with 100 ml of air
  • Inflate distal cuff with 15 ml of air

  • Placement shown is in the esophagus
  • Proximal and distal balloons both get inflated

Combitube contd
  • Begin ventilations via tube 1
  • Confirm placement
  • Observe gentle rise and fall of the chest wall
  • Perform 5 point auscultation over the epigastrium
    and bilaterally over the lungs
  • If unable to confirm tube placement, then attach
    BVM to tube 2 and ventilate
  • Repeat confirmation steps
  • Secure device

Case Scenario 1
  • 911 is called to the scene for a 72 year-old
    obese male with complaints of increased shortness
    of breath today and with fever
  • VS B/P 152/94 P 104 R 26 SpO2 92
  • Meds Ventolin, Prednisone, Glucophage,
    Verapamil, Isordil, Hydrochlorathiazide
  • Observation Patients color is dusky, slightly
    diaphoretic, cannot talk in complete sentences,
    productive cough

Case Scenario 1
  • What else needs to be done during the assessment
  • History is this problem old or new
  • Lung sounds
  • EKG monitor possibly 12 lead based on
    assessment findings
  • Sputum is dark brown

Case Scenario 1
  • Patient found to have exacerbation of signs and
    symptoms of COPD with wheezing possibly a
    secondary lung infection
  • Treatment
  • Oxygen starting at 2-6 L/minute per nasal cannula
  • IV TKO for access if necessary
  • Carefully monitor flow rate not to over hydrate
  • Albuterol 2.5 mg/3ml attached to O2 at 6L flow
  • Reassess frequently watching for deterioration
    and hoping for improvement

Case Scenario 2
  • You have arrived at the scene of a local fast
    food chain for a 3 year-old choking victim
  • Upon your arrival you note the patient is
    conscious and appears exhausted while clutching
    at their throat, color is pale, and they have a
    weak cough
  • As you approach, the child looks at you with wide
    eyes and is trying to cough but is now no longer
    making any sound
  • What is your assessment your action plan?

Case Scenario 2
  • Impression partially obstructed airway that is
    now a completely obstructed airway
  • If the patient can speak or cough, you are to
    allow them to try to relieve the obstruction with
  • In a conscious child, you perform the Heimlich
    maneuver (abdominal thrusts) until the patient is
    unconscious or the obstruction is relieved
  • Equipment to prepare and have on stand-by
  • Intubation equipment
  • Child BVM
  • Magill forceps

Case Scenario 2
  • If the patient has a history of asthma and is
    wheezing, short of breath, and has an increased
    respiratory rate, how do you tell the difference
    between an asthma attack and an obstructed
  • Dont let patient history steer you wrong
  • Assess the patient
  • Asthma bilateral wheezing, usually identifiable
    trigger evident
  • FB wheezing on obstructed side, patient usually
    eating or child playing with small objects at
    onset of incident

Case Scenario 3
  • You are called to the scene of 32 year-old female
    having an asthma attack
  • The episode started approximately 3 hours ago and
    the patient has used her inhaler with no success
  • Appearance Anxious, pale, dry oral mucous
    membranes (mouth), unable to talk in complete
    sentences, appears exhausted, using accessory
  • What is your impression? What else do you need to
    assess? What is your treatment?

Case Scenario 3
  • Initial impression acute asthma attack
  • Assessment
  • Lung sounds, pulse oximetry
  • List of medications
  • Verification of allergies
  • EKG monitor to check rhythm
  • Treatment
  • Set up the Albuterol kit
  • Need to coach patient in her ear to talk her
    through slowing down her breathing, then taking
    deeper breaths, and finally holding the deeper
    breath to get the medication into the lungs

Case Scenario 3
  • The patient is so exhausted, their level of
    consciousness is deteriorating and SpO2 is
  • Prepare for in-line Albuterol administration and
  • With kit already set up, remove mouthpiece and
    attach BVM
  • Attach connector to blue corrugated tubing and
    then to mask to bag patient to deliver medication
    to the lungs
  • Prepare to intubate patient if situation does not
  • Intubate patient and confirm placement
  • Connect adaptor to ET tube in place of mask
  • Confirm ET tube placement

Case Scenario 4
  • 911 is called to the scene for a 68 year-old male
    with sudden onset of difficulty breathing
  • Patient is sitting upright on a chair, leaning
    forward resting their arms on their thighs
  • Appearance
  • Rapid respirations with noisy ventilations
  • Cyanotic finger tips and pale, diaphoretic face
  • Using accessory muscles
  • Your impression? Further assessment? Intervention?

Case Scenario 4
  • Further assessment
  • History
  • Allergies medications
  • Lung sounds
  • Bilateral crackles and wheezing
  • Vital signs and SpO2 reading
  • B/P 180/110 P 110 R- 32 SpO2 89
  • EKG monitor and 12 lead EKG
  • Atrial fibrillation no ST elevation
  • Impression
  • Acute pulmonary edema

Case Scenario 4
  • Interventions
  • Is patient stable or unstable?
  • Stable B/P 180/110
  • Medications
  • Nitroglycerin 0.4 mg sl
  • Vasodilator
  • Lasix 40 mg IVP (80 mg if used at home)
  • Morphine 2 mg IVP
  • If wheezing, request Albuterol from Medical
  • Device
  • CPAP keep alveoli open

  • Campbell, J. Basic Trauma Life Support, 5th
    Edition, Brady. 2004
  • Dalton, Limmer, Mistovich, Werman. Advance
    Medical Life Support, 3rd Edition. Brady. 2007.
  • Region X Standard Operating Procedures, March
    2007 Amended version May 1, 2008
  • Conscious Sedation (Page 7)
  • Acute Pulmonary Edema (Page 19)
  • Airway Obstruction (Page 22)
  • Adult Allergic reaction/Anaphylactic Shock (Page
  • Asthma/COPD (Page 25)
  • Pediatric Respiratory Failure (Page 53)
  • Pediatric Acute Asthma (Page 55)
  • Pediatric Airway Obstruction (Page 56)
  • Croup/Epiglottitis (Page 64)
  • Pediatric Allergic Reaction/Anaphylaxis (Page 70)

Thanks and Be Safe!
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