Status asthmaticus is a life-threatening exacerbation of asthma symptoms that is unresponsive to standard ther-apy. It must be treated very aggressively, and hospital-ization may be necessary. A provocative factor such as prolonged allergen exposure or a respiratory infection often precedes status asthmaticus. A rapid increase in the daily use of bronchodilators to control acute symp-toms is a danger sign of an impending crisis. Treatment includes oxygen, inhaled short-acting β2-agonists, and oral or parenteral corticosteroids. Subcutaneous β- agonists can be given to those who respond poorly to in-haled adrenomimetics. Inhaled ipratropium may be ef-fective in some patients.
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