Last reviewed 01/2018

Factors to consider include:

  • pulse rate:
    • if the tachycardia is persistently 120 to 140 beats per minute the patient is still in danger
    • a falling pulse rate is an ominous feature

  • appearance of patient:
    • character of breathing
    • facial expression
    • position in bed

  • peak flow rate:
    • is an objective measurement of progress
    • it can be measured before and after nebulisers

  • estimation of blood gas tensions:
    • it is necessary to monitor the PaO2 and PaCO2
    • a rise in the PaCO2 suggests respiratory failure and intermittent positive pressure ventilation should be considered