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Waiting to Exhale
Respiratory Disorders
Peggy Andrews, Instructor
Fall, ‘08
1
A quick review
• Upper airway
– To larynx
– Warms, humidifies,
cleans
– Cilia
– Turbinates
– Cribiform plate
2
Review, continued
• Lower airway
– Below larynx
– Trachea
– Bronchi
– Alveoli
– Surfactant
3
Lower airway, cont.
• Lungs
– Lobes
– Visceral pleura
– Parietal pleura
4
Review, continued
• Ventilation
– Inspiration
– Expiration
• Respiration-Tidal
Volume
– 500ml
• Inspiratory Reserve
Volume
– 3000ml
• Expiratory reserve
volume
– 1500ml
• Residual volume
– 1200ml
• Dead air space
– 150ml
• Minute volume
– TV x RR
5
What controls our breathing?
• Medulla
– 12-20/min
• Transmitted through
– phrenic nerves
• 3rd, 4th, 5th spinal nerves
– and intercostal nerves
• 11 pair
• Can be modified by
– Cerebral cortex
– Hypothalamus
– Brainstem (pons)
6
What controls our breathing, cont.
Phrenic and
intercostal
nerves
7
More stuff
• PCO2 increase = increased PCO2 in CSF
= decreased pH
Respiratory patterns
Cheyne-Stokes
Kussmaul’s
Central neurogenic hyperventilation
Ataxic (Biot’s)
Apneustic
8
Cheyne-stokes
Central neurogenic hypervent.
Apneustic
Ataxic (Biot’s)
9
Respiratory Disorders
• Incidence - 28% of all EMS C/C
• Morbidity/Mortality - >200,000
deaths/yr.
10
Risk Factors
Genetic predisposition
Asthma
COPD
Carcinomas
11
12
13
Case Presentation One
14
Entering the bathroom, the EMTs
find:
15
16
The Patient Is:
17
18
19
20
21
• 1. What is her differential diagnosis?
• 2. What treatment might you provide
for this patient? Why?
22
Signs of life-threatening respiratory
distress in adults
• Altered mental
status
• Severe cyanosis
• Absent breath
sounds
• Audible stridor
• 1-2 word dyspnea
• Tachycardia >
130/min.
• Pallor and diaphoresis
• Retractions/accessory
muscle use
23
24
COPD
• Outflow obstructive
diseases
– Emphysema
– Chronic Bronchitis
– Asthma
25
The COPD patient
• May have any or all three diseases
• Works harder to breath – tires quickly
• Be prepared to take over breathing
26
Case Presentation Two
27
28
You note the following:
29
30
31
• What is his differential diagnosis?
• What treatment might you provide
him?
• Why?
32
Emphysema
• Irreversible airway obstruction
• Diffusion defect also exists because of
blebs - prone to collapse - pt. exhales
with pursed lips
• Almost always associated with cigarette
smoking or environmental toxins
33
34
Pathophysiology
• Stiffening and enlargement of alveoli –
requires higher lung pressures
• More common in men
• Walls of alveoli gradually destruct, = 
alveolar membrane surface area.
Results in  ratio of air to lung tissue.
•  Pulmonary capillaries , = 
resistance to pulmonary blood flow.
• Causes pulmonary hypertension, leads
to RHF, then Cor Pulmonale
35
Pathophys. (Cont.)
• Bronchiole walls weaken, lungs lose elasticity,
air is trapped.  Residual volume, but vital
capacity relatively normal.
• PaO2 , =  RBC, polycythemia.
• PaCO2 , is chronically elevated. The body
depends on hypoxic drive.
• Pt’s are more susceptible to pneumonia,
dysrhythmias.
• Meds; bronchodilators, corticosteroids, O2.
36
Assessment
•
•
•
•
Altered mentation
1-2 word dyspnea
Absent or decreased breath sounds
c/c Dyspnea, morning cough, nocturnal
dyspnea, wheezing
37
• History -
– Personal or family hx of
allergies/asthma
– Acute exposure to pulmonary irritant
– Previous similar expisodes
– Recent wt. loss,  exertional dyspnea
– Usually > 20 pack/year/history
38
Exam
• Wheezing
• Retractions and/or
accessory muscle
use
• Barrel chest
• Prolonged expiratory
phase
• Rapid resting
respiratory rate
•
•
•
•
Thin
Pink puffers
Clubbing of fingers
Diminished breath
sounds
• JVD, hepatic
congestion,
peripheral edema
39
Management
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Pulse oximeter
Intubation prn
Assisted ventilation prn
High flow oxygen
IV therapy with fluids
Albuterol, or Albuterol/Atrovent neb
Transport considerations
40
Chronic Bronchitis
• Productive cough for at least 3 months for
two or more consecutive years
• An increase in mucous-secreting cells
• Characterized by large quantity of sputum
• Chronic smoker
• Alveoli not severely affected - diffusion nl.
•  gas exchange = hypoxia & hypercarbia
• May increase RBC = polycythemia
•  paCO2 = irritability, h/a, personality
changes,  intellect.
•  paCO2 = pulmonary hypertension &
eventually cor pulmonale.
41
42
Assessment
• Hx heavy cigarette smoking
• Frequent resp. infections
• Productive cough
• Overweight, possibly cyanotic blue bloaters
• Rhonchi on auscultation - mucous
plugs
• S/S RHF; JVD, edema, hepatic
congestion
43
Management
• Pulse oximetry
• Oxygen - low flow if possible
• Nebulized Albuterol/Atrovent
• Constantly monitor
• Position - seated
• IV TKO
44
45
Case Presentation Three
46
47
48
49
50
You find the following:
51
52
53
• What is your differential
diagnosis?
• What treatment would you offer
this patient and why?
54
Asthma
• Reversible obstruction caused by combination
of smooth muscle spasm, mucous, edema
• Exacerbating factors - extrinsic in children,
intrinsic in adults
• Status asthmaticus - prolonged exacerbation doesn’t respond to therapy
• Significant increase in deaths in last decade45 years or older - black 2x higher
• 50% are prehospital deaths.
55
Pathophysiology
• A chronic inflammatory airway disorder.
• Triggers vary - allergens, cold air,
exercise, food, irritants, medications.
• A two-phase reaction
56
• Phase one
– Histamine release - bronchial
constriction, leakage of fluid from
peribronchial capillaries =
bronchoconstriction, bronchial
edema.
– Often resolves in 1 - 2 hours
57
Pathophysiology (cont.)
• Phase two
– 6-8 hours after exposure, inflammation of
bronchioles - eosinophils, neutrophils,
lymphocytes invade respiratory mucosa;
= additional edema, swelling.
– Doesn’t typically respond to inhalers; often
requires corticosteriods.
• Inflammation usually begins
days/weeks before attack.
58
Assessment
• Dyspnea, 1-2 word
dyspnea
• Persistent, nonproductive cough
• Wheezing
• Hyperinflation of
chest
• Tachypnea,
accessory muscle
use
• Pulsus paradoxis
– 10-15 mm bp drop
during insp vs exp
• Agitated, anxious
• Decreased oxygen
saturation
• Tachycardia
• Hx of allergies
• Auto PEEP
• Potential tensions
(bilateral)
59
Management
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Check home meds
Determine onset of sx & what pt. has taken
Check vitals carefully - resp. x 30 sec.
High flow oxygen
IV with fluids
ECG
Inhalers
Consider epinephrine 1:1,000 SQ, 0.3-0.5 mg
Consider Solu-Medrol, 1 –2 mg/kg IVP, max
125 mg
60
Status Asthmaticus
• Severe, prolonged asthma attack not
responsive to tx.
• Greatly distended chest
• Absent breath sounds
• Pt. exhausted, dehydrated, acidotic.
• Treat aggressively if obtunded, profuse
diaphoresis, floppy – Intubate (poss.
RSI)
• Transport immediately
61
62
63
Case Presentation Four
64
65
66
67
Your exam reveals the following:
68
• What is his differential diagnosis?
• What treatment would you offer
this patient? Why?
69
Pneumonia
• 5th leading cause of death in US
• Risk factors
– Cigarette smoking
– Alcoholism
– Cold exposure
– Extremes of age
70
• Pathophysiology
– A common respiratory disease caused
by infectious agent. bacterial and
viral pneumonia most frequent.
– May cause atelectasis
– May become systemic = sepsis
71
Assessment
• Typical
– Acute onset of fever and chills
– Cough productive with yellow/green
sputum (bad breath!)
– May have pleuritic chest pain
– Pulmonary consolidation on auscultation
– Rales
– Egophony (strange lung sounds)
• Atypical
– Non-productive cough
– H/A
– Fatigue
72
Management
•
•
•
•
•
•
Position
Oxygen
Consider breathing tx.
IV with fluids
Cool if febrile
Elderly, over 65 years
– Significant co-morbidity
– Inability to take meds
– Support complications
73
74
75
Case Presentation Five
76
On physical exam:
77
78
• What is your differential diagnosis?
• What treatment would you offer
this patient? Why?
79
Hyperventilation Syndrome
• Multiple causes
– Hypoxia
– High altitude
– Pulmonary disease
– Pneumonia
– Interstitial pneumonitis, fibrosis, edema
– Pulmonary emboli
– Bronchial asthma
– Congestive heart failure
– Hypotension
– Metabolic disorder
– Acidosis
80
Hyperventilation Syndrome
(cont)
• Causes, cont.
– Hepatic failure
– Neurologic disorders
– Psychogenic or anxiety hypertension
– Central nervous system infection, tumors
– Drug-induced
– Salicylate
– Methylxanthine derivatives
– Beta-adrenergic agonists
– Progesterone
– Fever,sepsis
– Pain
– Pregnancy
81
Assessment
• Chief complaint
– Dyspnea
– Chest pain
– Other sx based on etiology
– Carpopedal spasm
– Tachypnea with high minute volume
82
Management
• Depends on cause of syndrome
• Oxygen based on sx and pulse oximetry
• Consider coached ventilation
83
84
Upper Respiratory Infection (URI)
• One of most common c/c
• Usually viral
• Bacterial infections
– Group A streptococcus
• Strep throat
• Sinusitis
• Middle ear infections
• Most URI’s self-limiting
85
URI continued
• S/S
– Fever
– Chills
– Myalgias
– Fatigue
• Tx
– Supportive
– Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, liquids
86
URI, cont.
• If pediatric, beware of possibility of
epiglotitis
• If PMH; Asthma or COPD, condition
may worsen
– Consider nebulized meds
87
Lung CA
• Most caused by cigarette smoking
• 4 major types
– Adenocarcinoma – most common
• Origin; mucus-producing cells
– Small cell carcinoma
– Epidermoid carcinoma
– Large cell carcinoma
• Origin; bronchial tissues
• Most patients die w/in one year
88
Lung CA, continued
• General Assessment; • Advanced disease
–
–
–
–
–
Altered mentation
1-2 word sentences
Cyanosis
Hemoptysis
Hypoxia
–
–
–
–
Profound weight loss
Cachexia
Malnutrition
Crackles, rhonchi,
wheezes
– Diminished breath
sounds
– Venous distention in
arms and neck
89
• Localized disease
– Cough, dyspnea, hoarseness, vague chest
pain, hemoptysis
• Local invasion
– Pain on swallowing (dysphagia)
– Weakness, numbness in arm
– Shoulder pain
• Metastatic spread
– Headache, seizures, bone pain, abdominal
pain, nausea, malaise
90
Tx for Lung CA
•
•
•
•
•
•
Oxygen prn
Support ventilations
Intubate prn
IV
Nubulized meds
DNR / Advanced directive?
91
92
Toxic inhalation
• Consider if pt dyspneic
• Causes
– Superheated air
– Products of combustion
– Chemical irritants
– Steam inhalation
93
Inhalation injury, cont.
• Medic safety
– Ammonia (ammonium hydroxide)
– Nitrogen oxide (nitric acid)
– Sulfer dioxide (sulfurous acid)
– Sulfur trioxide (sulfuric acid)
– Chlorine (hydrochloric acid)
94
• Assessment
– Enclosed space?
– Loss of consciousness?
– Mouth, face, throat, nares
– Auscultate chest
– Laryngeal edema
• Hoarseness, brassy cough, stridor
• Management
– Maintain airway
– High-flow humidified oxygen
– IV
95
Carbon Monoxide inhalation
• Incomplete burning of fossel fuels,
other carbon-containing compounds
• Automobile exhaust, home-heating
devices most common causes
• CO has >200x affinity for hemoglobin
– Cellular hypoxia
• Also binds to iron-containing enzymes
– Increased cellular acidosis
96
CO, continued
• Assessment
– Source, length of exposure? Closed vs
open space?
• S/S
– H/A, N/V, confusion, agitation, loss of
coordination, chest pain, loss of
consciousness, seizures
– Cyanosis
– Cherry red (very late)
97
CO, continued
• Management
– SAFETY
– Maintain airway
– High flow oxygen (NRB vs assist
– Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
98
Pulmonary Embolus
•
•
•
•
Thrombus
Ventilation perfusion mismatch
50,000 deaths in US annually
Conditions that predispose to PE
–
–
–
–
–
–
Recent surgery
Long-bone fracture
Bedridden
Long flights/truck drivers
Pregnancy
Cancer, infections, thrombophlebitis, Af, sickle cell
anemia
– BCP
99
PE, cont
• Assessment
– Sudden onset SOB, Hypoxic
– Pleuritic chest pain
– Non-productive cough
– History
– Labored breathing, tachypnea, tachycardia
– RHF
– DVT present
100
PE, cont
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Management
ABC
Airway
High flow oxygen
ET?
IV – flow rate?
Heparin gtt? TPA?
101
102
Spontaneous pneumothorax
• Common- high recurrent rate
– 5:1 male to female
– Tall, thin
– Smoking history
– 20-40 years old
– COPD = increased risk
• Ventilation perfusion mismatch if >
20%
103
Spont. Pneumothorax, cont.
• Assessment
– Sudden onset sharp chest or shoulder pain
– Coughing/lifting
– Dyspnea
– Decreased breath sounds at apex
– Hyper resonance
– Sub-cutaneous emphysema
– Tachypnea, diaphoresis, pallor
104
Spont. Pneumothorax, cont.
• Management
– Supplemental oxygen
– If sx increase, consider needle
decompression
– Position of comfort
105
106
Xray of pt with R-sided tension
pneumothorax
107
That’s all about breathing
for now, folks!
108
109
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