Pediatric Asthma Definition Assignment

Pediatric Asthma Definition Assignment

An understanding of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems is a critically important component of disease diagnosis and treatment. This importance is magnified by the fact that these two systems work so closely together. A variety of factors and circumstances that impact the emergence and severity of issues in one system can have a role in the performance of the other. Pediatric Asthma Definition Assignment

Effective disease analysis often requires an understanding that goes beyond these systems and their capacity to work together. The impact of patient characteristics, as well as racial and ethnic variables, can also have an important impact.

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An understanding of the symptoms of alterations in cardiovascular and respiratory systems is a critical step in diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. For APRNs this understanding can also help educate patients and guide them through their treatment plans.

In this Assignment, you examine a case study and analyze the symptoms presented. You identify the elements that may be factors in the diagnosis, and you explain the implications to patient health.

To prepare:

Assignment (1- to 2-page case study analysis)

In your Case Study Analysis related to the scenario provided, explain the following

The cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary pathophysiologic processes that result in the patient presenting these symptoms.

Any racial/ethnic variables that may impact physiological functioning. Pediatric Asthma Definition Assignment

How these processes interact to affect the patient.

CASE STUDY: 11-year-old boy complains of wheezing and difficulty “getting enough air.” Notices it more when he is playing baseball and symptoms improve when exercise activity stops. He says that the symptoms are getting worse and the symptoms are even occurring at rest. The mother says the child is allergic to cat dander and his next-door neighbor in their apartment building recently began sheltering cats for the local humane society. Auscultation demonstrates wheezes on forced expiration throughout all lung fields.


Childhood Asthma

In cases involving childhood asthma, the lungs and airways quickly become inflamed after being exposed to different triggers. These triggers include respiratory infections, catching a cold, inhaling pollen and in the case of the patient in question, inhaling cat dander. The condition can be troublesome as its daily symptoms may interfere with sports, play, sleep and school. In some children, when the condition is unmanaged, it may result in dangerous asthma attacks. This condition is the leading cause of emergency room visits, missed school days and hospitalizations among children.

Like in the case study, common symptoms of the condition include frequent coughs that worsen when the child is in cold air, sleeping, has a viral infection or is exercising. The condition also causes children to wheeze when exhaling, experience shortness of breath, and have chest tightness or congestion. Childhood asthma also causes delayed recovery after a respiratory infection and fatigue.

Asthma has been seen to involve pathophysiologic factors including inflammation of the bronchioles and resistance manifesting in shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. The condition affects the bronchi, trachea, and bronchioles. While the more common symptoms of the disease may not occur, inflammation may still persist. During an episode, a patient’s inflamed airways react to the cat dander, which triggers the allergic reaction. When the patient comes into contact with these stimuli, their bronchi go into spasm and produce mucus in excess. This makes it difficult for the patient to breathe. Essentially, this condition is the function of an immune response within the bronchial pathways (Sullivan et al., 2016).

According to Carpaij et al., (2019), the above bronchospasms may at times resolve themselves within an hour or two. In 50% of patients; however, the bronchospasm may become part of a late response where the initial insult will be followed 3-12 hours later with more inflammation and bronchoconstriction. Standard bronchus calibre is usually maintained by the functioning of the autonomic nervous system, which also acts reflexively. The parasympathetic reflex loop is made up of afferent nerve endings that originate below the inner lining of the bronchus. When the afferent nerve endings are stimulated by stimuli such as the cat dander, impulses travel to the vagal centre of the brain-stem and subsequently travel to the vagal efferent pathway to reach the small bronchial airways. During this process, acetylcholine will be released from the efferent nerve endings. The release of the hormone results in the excessive production of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) within the smooth muscle cells of the bronchioles. This, in turn, leads to shortening of the muscles and the beginning of bronchoconstriction. Pediatric Asthma Definition Assignment

Generally, health-related and demographic risk factors for the above condition vary significantly by ethnicity/race for both adults and children. In children, a higher proportion of Puerto Ricans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Non-Hispanic blacks, and other Hispanics have less income when compared to Asians and Non-Hispanic whites.  This means that they have less access to health care. Furthermore, Non-Hispanic whites were seen to have higher rates of obesity which has been linked to the disease (Muc et al., Padez, 2016).


Carpaij, O. A., Burgess, J. K., Kerstjens, H. A., Nawijn, M. C., & van den Berge, M. (2019). A review on the pathophysiology of asthma remission. Pharmacology & Therapeutics201, 8-24.

Muc, M., Mota-Pinto, A., & Padez, C. (2016). Association between obesity and asthma–epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical profile. Nutrition Research Reviews29(2), 194-201.

Sullivan, A., Hunt, E., MacSharry, J., & Murphy, D. M. (2016). The microbiome and the pathophysiology of asthma. Respiratory Research17(1), 163. Pediatric Asthma Definition Assignment