When dealing with an acute asthma attack, the most important thing is to deal with the danger of hypoxemia, which is a decrease in blood oxygen levels. Simply put, it is a drop in blood pressure. In fact, this is the first time to assess a child who has had an acute asthma attack. Asthma in children.
one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood is Asthma . This is a significant public health problem. What’s more, it has increased significantly in recent years and is also associated with the consumption of large amounts of drugs.
That is why in our article today we will focus on what asthma means for your child and what you should know about treating asthma in children. We will take you to spend a few minutes reading!
What is asthma and why does it occur in children?
Asthma, as defined at the Third International Pediatric Convention, is a disorder characterized by “recurrent wheezing and persistent coughing where the condition is possible and other less common conditions have been excluded.”
The most common symptoms of an asthma attack are as follows:
- Feeling short of breath.
- Tightness of the chest.
- Airway obstruction.
- Bronchial hyperreactivity.
- Inflammation of the respiratory tract.
Treatment of asthma in children
Treatment of asthma is generally divided into two broad ranges of tasks. On the one hand, we have treatment for acute attacks of the disease and, on the other hand, long-term maintenance treatment in the case of a chronic condition. The main goals of treating childhood asthma are:
- Reduction and an attempt to eliminate chronic symptoms.
- Avoiding acute crises.
- Avoiding as much as possible the need to take medication and its associated side effects.
The main medications used to treat asthma in children are:
- Bronchodilators to relieve symptoms.
- Anti-inflammatory agents that control the disease.
- Treatment in the event of an acute asthma attack
When an acute asthma attack is present, treatment goals change. The most important issue in such a situation is to deal with the dangers of hypoxemia. Simply put, it is a drop in blood pressure and oxygen levels.
In fact, this is the first aspect to assess a child who has had an acute asthma attack.
To assess the fall in arterial oxygen saturation, physicians use a pulse oximeter that measures the oxygen tension and saturation. Therefore, depending on the results obtained on this basis, they can classify a given case according to its degree of significance and the potential risk to the child:
- Mild asthma. It occurs when the O2 saturation is greater than 94%.
- Moderate asthma. It takes place when the O2 saturation ranges from 91% to 94%.
- Severe asthma. It occurs when the O2 saturation is less than 91%.
Doctors classify a given case as hypoxemia when the reduction in arterial oxygen tension falls below 91% or 60 mmHg. In such cases, the child should be referred to hospital immediately.
In the case of an acute crisis, the first treatment option is the administration of inhaled beta-2-adrenergic drugs. They are administered using a pressurized chamber inhaler or a nebuliser. The most commonly used drug is salbutamol. Other options may include ipratropium bromide or corticosteroids.
Oxygen administration is necessary for all patients with an oxygen saturation less than 94%. Therefore, they should be referred to hospital for more careful monitoring and appropriate treatment.
Asthma in children: supportive treatment for a chronic condition
When talking about supportive care for a chronic condition, it is very important to consider the age of the child. Basically, in addition to drug treatment, doctors consider the option of immunotherapy, and their education places particular emphasis on managing diseases and related crises.
As mentioned earlier, when treating childhood asthma, we must avoid chronic medication for as long as possible. You need to start with the basic treatment, which can be gradually extended as needed.
Inhaled corticosteroids, such as budesonide or fluticasone, are the most commonly used maintenance medications to treat asthma. Remember the importance of controlling your corticosteroid doses to avoid unwanted side effects. If you need to increase the dose, doctors recommend combining them with bronchodilators.
It should also be remembered that most asthma attacks in children under the age of 3 are caused by a viral infection. These symptoms disappear regardless of the treatment used, so do not overuse drugs that may cause more harm than good to your child.