Bronchospasm is basically an umbrella term used when adventitious lung sounds are misinterpreted for sounds that indicate bronchospasm. So patients with other ailments end up getting a bronchodilator when what they needed was something else.
As respiratory therapists, we have been taught to break down lungsounds into three main categories:
- The patient is wet: The doctor should think diuretics
- The patient has pneumonia: The doctor should think antibiotics
- The patient has bronchospasm: The doctor should think bronchodilators
Now what? What is a respiratory therapist supposed to do when respiratory therapy is beyond the scope of a physician's knowledge and the physician is to much of a dunderhead to admit that his respiratory therapist knows more about it than he does? The answer is to recommend to the physician a new test that accurately diagnoses bronchospasm.
Why not? There's BNP for heart failure. There's procalcitonin for sepsis. There's perineal plastic panel for cancer. There's the double standed dizziness titer for dizziness. Why not a test to diagnose bronchospasm. And, believe it or not, there now is such a test that is now set to revolutionize how doctors treat and diagnose patients who present with dyspnea.
I present to you the double stranded bronchospasm titer. It's a simple lab test you can add to the venous blood draw the lab technician collects. A simple gadget can be added to the ABG machine, and the blood can be run through the ABG machine (you can also use arterial blood). Results are available as a percentage in a manner of minutes. The results are as follows:
- 0% (If the patient is dyspneic, then the doctor is forced to think and consider something else.)
- 25% (The patient is mildly dyspneic and may even appear to be in no distress)
- 50% (The patient is probably all frogged up on the edge of the bed gasping for air)
- 100% (well, here the patient would be dead)