Prehospital Management of Asthma Exacerbations

Street Science


 
 

Keith Wesley | | Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Review of: Camargo C: "A model protocol for emergency medical services management of asthma exacerbations." Prehospital Emergency Care. 10(4):418 429, 2006.

The Science

While this paper does not represent original research, it does address the issue of prehospital asthma management in a scientific manner. The abstract states, "Emergency medical services (EMS) is an important part of the continuum of asthma management. The magnitude of the EMS responsibility is very large, with millions of patients with asthma treated each year by EMS personnel. In response to inconsistencies between the 1997 National Asthma Education and Prevention Program asthma guidelines and a variety of existing EMS protocols on the management of asthma exacerbations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened a workgroup in 2004 to discuss the various opportunities and challenges ahead. At the meeting, and over the ensuing year, the workgroup created a model protocol that was derived from the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines."

The author contends that by integrating these recommendations into existing protocols, EMS systems could improve prehospital care for patients with asthma.

The Street

This paper is especially timely when the issue of EMS scope of practice continues to be argued. It presents a logical prehospital protocol for the care of asthma that includes the use of inhaled bronchodilators. The use of nebulizers and metered dose inhalers has generally been a skill reserved for ALS providers. However, this paper proposes that it is appropriate for BLS providers be trained and equipped with them.

BLS providers are more likely to be the first on the scene or even the only rescuer for the entire prehospital encounter of the acute asthmatic. The delivery of inhaled bronchodilators is a safe and effective treatment and significantly improves patient outcomes. My experience is that it is clearly a BLS skill, and systems that have not adopted it merely need to read this paper to realize its awesome potential.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Airway and Respiratory, Medical Emergencies, Research

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters, Medics Drill for Ebola

Lexington firefighters and medics prepare for possible patients.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Mid-South EMTs Prepare for Ebola

Mid-South EMTs are certified for service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ebola Changes How North Carolina EMS Responds to Calls

Concern about virus spread leads to new protocols.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Oklahoma Hospitals Prepare for Ebola Cases

Training and preparation are keys for metro hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

CDC Ebola Training for Clinicians

Students learn the complexities of working in bulky suits.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >