Asthma pathophysiology nursing sample essay

Asthma pathophysiology nursing sample essay


Asthma is a disease that affects over 30 million Americans, and is mostly diagnosed during childhood to (Huether & McCance, 2017). When Asthma is not properly diagnosed or diagnosed late, it could lead to chronic changes in the airways. Asthma is a chronic disease and can show up at any age and is not gender specific (National Asthma Education, 2007). According to Huether and McCance (2017), asthma can present itself in children when exposed to high level of allergens. Smoking, exposure to allergens, air pollution and re-occurring respiratory infection all put an individual at risk for asthma. When an individual inhales irritants, it could create some permanent changes in the airways. Asthma pathophysiology nursing sample essay.



When the bronchial mucosa is exposed to allergens, it stimulates the dendritic cells, and this pushes antigen to the T-helper cells. The T-helper cells release both cytokines and interleukins that stimulates plasma cells and eosinophils. Thus, leading to obstruction of the airways (Huether & McCance, 2017). The plasma cells create IgE, and it connects to the mast cells, and it causes degranulation due to the discharge of inflammatory mediators like histamine and bradykinins. Inflammatory mediators lead to mucosal edema, bronchospasm, and vasodilations which contribute to narrowing the airways. Asthma pathophysiology nursing sample essay.

Asthma manifest differently in people, and they can range from an acute exacerbation to a severe attack (Hammer & McPhee, 2014). Asthma pathophysiology nursing sample essay. Wheezing is a classic sign of asthma, and this is caused by the contraction of smooth muscles in the airways (Hammer & McPhee, 2014). Dyspnea, tachypnea, cough (non-productive), tachycardia and prolonged expiration are manifestations of asthma. When the usual treatment is no longer effective for bronchospasm which is an inflammatory response, then the patient is believed to have status asthmaticus (Huether & McCance, 2017).

Diagnosis and Treatment

The first step in diagnosing asthma is by looking at the patients’ history of allergies and check for classic signs such as wheezing, non-productive cough, shortness of breath and chest tightness or intolerance of exercise. According to Huether and McCance (2017), arterial blood gases (ABG) is one way to diagnose asthma. Expiratory flow rates which measure the speed at which someone exhales is another method diagnose asthma and how severe it is. Administration of oxygen and short-acting bronchodilator is used for the treatment of acute asthma. Asthma pathophysiology nursing sample essay. The nurse practitioner should also administer oral corticosteroids; closely monitor airflow and how the patient reacts to the treatment (Lawlor, 2015).


Asthma is not raced specific, but it has been discovered that people of black descent are more likely to suffer from asthma than white people and black children are twice likely to develop asthma than their white peers (CDC, 2016). According to the CDC (2016), blacks and people of mixed race are unlikely to seek medical assistance such as going to the emergency room and most times these are associated with the cost of care Asthma pathophysiology nursing sample essay.


Asthma is not gender or age specific and is mostly like to occur in black and people of mixed races than whites (CDC, 2016). If re-occurring respiratory infections are not well treated, it could lead to permanent changes known as airway remodeling in the airways obstructing airflow to the lungs such as asthma (Huether & McCance, 2017).  It is germane for people to seek early treatments for respiratory infections to avoid airway remodeling consequently worsening the situation. It is imperative for nurse practitioners to recognize the signs of asthma and differentiate between an acute exacerbation and chronic asthma attack because that will help the nurse practitioner tailor their treatment and management correctly. Asthma pathophysiology nursing sample essay.




Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2016). Asthma’s Impact on the Nation; Data from the CDC National Asthma Control Program. Retrieved from:

Hammer, G. D., & McPhee, S. J. (2014). Pathophysiology of disease: An introduction to clinical medicine (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Medical. Asthma pathophysiology nursing sample essay.

Huether, S. E., & McCance, K. L. (2017). Understanding pathophysiology (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

Lawlor, R. (2015). Management of asthma in children. Practice Nursing, 26(7),326-330. Asthma pathophysiology nursing sample essay.

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