monitoring treatment

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The efficacy of asthma treatment should be monitored:

  • measure and record PEF 15-30 minutes after starting treatment, and thereafter according to the response
  • measure and record PEF before and after nebulised or inhaled beta 2 agonist bronchodilator (at least four times daily) throughout the hospital stay and until controlled after discharge
  • record oxygen saturation by oximetry and maintain arterial SpO2 at 94–98%.
  • repeat measurements of blood gas tensions within one hour of starting treatment if:
      • the initial PaO2 is <8 kPa unless SaO2 is >92%;
      • or the initial PaCO2 is normal or raised;
      • or the patient’s condition deteriorates
  • measure them again if the patient’s condition has not improved by 4-6 hours
  • measure and record the heart rate
  • measure serum potassium and blood glucose concentrations
  • measure the serum theophylline concentration if aminophylline is continued for more than 24 hours (aim at a concentration of 10–20 mg/l or 55-110 mcg/mol/l).


Last reviewed 11/2019