Asthma exacerbations occur across a wide spectrum of chronic severity; they contribute to millions of emergency department (ED) visits in both children and adults every year. Management of asthma exacerbations is an important part of the continuum of asthma care. The best strategy for ED management of an asthma exacerbation is early recognition and intervention, continuous monitoring, appropriate disposition, and, once improved, multifaceted transitional care that optimizes subacute and chronic asthma management after ED discharge. This article concisely reviews ED evaluation, treatment, disposition, and post-discharge care for patients with asthma exacerbations, based on high-quality evidence (e.g., systematic reviews from the Cochrane Collaboration) and current international guidelines (e.g., the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report 3 [EPR3], Global Initiative for Asthma [GINA], and Australian guidelines). Special populations (young children, pregnant women, and the elderly) also are addressed. Despite advances in asthma science, there remain many important evidence gaps in managing ED patients with asthma exacerbation. This article summarizes several of these controversial areas and challenges that merit further investigation.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.