Acute Asthma Attack Case Study

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¬ Acute asthma attack refers to a single episode while chronic asthma refers to a long-term condition. Acute episodes are triggered by type I hypersensitivity reaction to an inhaled antigen. Type I hypersensitivity begins when an individual is exposed to a specific allergen and for some reason, develops IgE antibodies from B lymphocytes, these antibodies then attach to mast cells in specific locations which ultimately creates sensitized mast cells. When the individual is re-exposed to the same allergen, the allergen attaches to the IgE antibody on the mast cell, stimulating the release of chemical mediators such as histamine. As a result of the release of the chemical mediators, there is an inflammatory reaction which involves vasodilation and increased capillary permeability at the site, resulting in swelling and redness of the…show more content…
The release of the chemical mediators also can irritate nerve endings, causing itching or mild pain. In B.J.’s case, he has formed an abnormally large amount of IgE antibodies and these antibodies cause the allergic reactions when they react with the specific antigen which is the cat fur. When B.J is re-exposed to the fur that he is sensitive to, it reacts with the sensitized mast cells that are attached to antibodies and cause the release of several chemical mediators such as histamine, bradykinin, prostaglandin, and many more. All of these lead to localized edema in the walls of the small bronchioles, as well as secretion of thick mucus into the bronchiolar lumens and spasms of the bronchiolar smooth muscle. This causes the airway resistance to increase greatly. All of these changes cause obstruction of airway either partially or totally and interfere with airflow and oxygen supply. Air passes into the area that is distal to the obstruction in patients with asthma, but is only partially
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