What is the significance of a finding retractions and abdominal muscle usage in status asthmaticus?

Updated: Jun 17, 2020
  • Author: Constantine K Saadeh, MD; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Retractions (ie, intercostal and subcostal) and the use of abdominal muscles may be observed in patients with status asthmaticus. The use of accessory muscles has been shown to correlate with the severity of airflow obstruction. An abnormally prolonged expiratory phase with audible wheezing can be observed. Patients with moderate to severe asthma are often unable to speak in full sentences.

Dehydration can occur in adults, but is observed less frequently than in children.

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