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Intensive Care Management of Status Asthmaticus

Janet M. Shapiro, MD, FCCP
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Affiliations: New York, NY 
 ,  Dr. Shapiro is Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Columbia University, and Director of Medical Intensive Care Unit, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.

Correspondence to: Janet M. Shapiro, MD, Division of Pulmonary-Critical Care Medicine, St. Luke’s Hospital MU 316, 1111 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025



Chest. 2001;120(5):1439-1441. doi:10.1378/chest.120.5.1439
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Intensive care management of status asthmaticus has advanced in recent years. Knowledge of the inflammatory basis of severe asthma and the pathophysiologic consequences of airway obstruction1 has translated into improvements in the medical and ventilatory approaches.

Still, status asthmaticus carries a significant risk of morbidity and mortality in the ICU. In this issue of CHEST (see page 1616), Afessa and colleagues present an observational study of 132 medical ICU admissions for status asthmaticus in an urban hospital. There was a notable predominance of African-American patients (67%) and women (79%). Invasive mechanical ventilation was required in 48 patients (36%), and noninvasive ventilation was initiated in 27 patients (20%), 5 of whom subsequently required intubation.

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