Asthma: A Case Study, Review of Pathophysiology, and Management Strategies

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PurposeTo review the pathophysiology of asthma, present a case study, and provide management strategies for treating this common, yet complex disorder in children and adults.Data SourcesSelected clinical guidelines, clinical articles, and research studies.ConclusionsAsthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disorder with acute exacerbations that currently affects approximately 14 million-15 million children and adults in the United States. Costs for asthma are staggering and nurse practitioners (NPs) are frequently presented with management decisions for the acute treatment and chronic management of this disorder. Disparities exist with the occurrence of asthma between race and gender. Additionally, there an increased incidence in acute exacerbations resulting from poor long-term control and follow- up care among the socioeconomically disadvantaged.Implications for PracticeStandards of care, along with new and emerging treatment strategies, guide NPs in providing the most comprehensive care to those affected with this chronic disorder. Knowledge about the pathophysiology of asthma and correlated to the case presentation enhances understanding treatment strategies for NPs who are often faced with providing care for patients with this chronic disorder that may sometimes present in an acute exacerbation.

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