Asthma Exacerbation

As an advanced practice nurse your ability to apply the concepts of pathophysiology to analysis of the disease processes is fundamental because the underlying pathophysiology of disease directly correlates to the presenting signs and symptoms and severity of disease.

While presenting symptoms may be attributed to one underlying body system, cellular processes often impact multiple related body systems.

Based on the knowledge you have gained up to this point, it is time to apply your skills to complete a case study for a patient presenting with asthma exacerbation.

Review the Patient Diagnosis Case Study: Asthma.

Patient Diagnosis Case Study: Asthma

Nancy Smith, a 35-year-old female, presents with an asthma exacerbation. She has had asthma since she was a child for which she was hospitalized several times. Her asthma was well controlled until the past couple of years. She has gone to urgent care a few times over the past year (most recently 4 months ago) and was given a prescription for an inhaled steroid (she never filled), albuterol inhaler, and oral steroids. She had eczema as a child and received allergy shots for many years. Her asthma symptoms flared again 2 weeks ago, and she has been using her albuterol 4 to 5 times a day. She reports that she is very short of breath when climbing stairs or when walking to the mailbox. She has had productive nighttime coughing spells every day during the past week and has had to prop herself up on pillows to breathe. She indicates that she has had similar previous flares in the past.

 Patient Health Information

Meds: Proair HFA, Claritin, Flonase prn.

Pulse ox: 93% on RA


Assessment Deliverable

Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper that addresses the following:

  • Discuss the pathophysiology of asthma including the 3 underlying components occurring in the bronchial mucosa.
  • Explain how Nancy’s symptoms relate to each of the 3 underlying components of disease pathophysiology.
  • Describe the risk factors for asthma including genetic/genomic, pharmacogenetic, and environmental exposure.
  • From a pathophysiological perspective, analyze the concept of “atopy” and how it relates to asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis.
  • Describe the chronic pathophysiologic changes that occur in the respiratory system with uncontrolled asthma.
  • Correlate these pathophysiologic changes to asthma morbidity and mortality.

Cite a minimum of 4 scholarly resources to support your answers.

Format your paper according to APA guidelines.

Submit your assessment.

Assessment Support

  • Visit these websites to find information related to concepts in this assessment:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA)

asthma exacerbation

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