Acute Eosinophilic Pneumonia

Posted on: 16th May 2023



Module 3 Activity - Respiratory Care Pan (AEP)

Acute eosinophilic pneumonia (AEP) is a rare disorder characterized by the rapid accumulation of

eosinophils in the lungs (pulmonary eosinophilia). Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell and are part of

the immune system. They are usually produced in response to allergens, inflammation or infection

(especially parasitic ones) and are particularly active in the respiratory tract. Common symptoms associated

with AEP include progressive shortness of breath (dyspnea) of rapid onset and possibly acute respiratory

failure, cough, fatigue, night sweats, fever, and unintended weight loss. The exact cause of the disorder is

unknown (idiopathic) in many cases, however recent change in tobacco smoking habits and drug intake can

trigger the disease. Outcome is favorable with corticosteroids, without relapse.

Design and create a respiratory care plan for a patient with acute eosinophilic pneumonia. Include in a

critical review to include signs and symptoms, causes, epidemiological data, related disorders, diagnosis,

treatment modalities, and respiratory manifestations.

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Acute Eosinophilic Pneumonia

Care Plan

Assessment data



Intervention and Rationale




Ineffective airway clearance is related to pulmonary eosinophilia, as evidenced by coughing and dyspnoea (Ackley et al., 2019).

The patient will display behaviours to achieve airway clearance after 48 hours.

Teach the patient practical breathing exercises to aid the inadequate expansion of the smaller airways and lungs to improve cough productivity.

Administer medications such as expectorants that facilitate liquefying of respiratory secretions. Also, bronchodilators dilate the respiratory airways hence enabling respiration.

Expect the necessity for supplemental oxygen or intubation if the patient’s condition worsens.

The patient demonstrates an adequate airway clearance after 48 hours of interventions.

Temperature above the normal range.

Hot and flushed skin

Increased heart rate

Hyperthermia is related to the inflammatory process secondary to an infection, as evidenced by temperature above-average range, hot and flushed skin, and an increase in heart rate.

The patient will maintain temperature and heart rate within the normal ranges within 24 hours.

Monitor and adjust environmental features such as room temperature, clothing, and linen to decrease warmth and regulate the patient’s temperature.

Administer antipyretics to reduce the body temperature as it blocks prostaglandin synthesis in the hypothalamus.

Anticipate the need for oxygen therapy since, with hyperthermia, the metabolic demand for oxygen increases.


The patient maintains body temperature and other vital signs within normal ranges.

General weakness



Activity intolerance is related to the imbalance between oxygen supply and demand, as evidenced by general weakness, fatigue, and dyspnoea (Ackley et al., 2019).

The patient will demonstrate an increased activity tolerance with the absence of fatigue, general weakness, and dyspnoea.

Assist patients with self-care activities necessary to increase continuous training and reduce exhaustion, balancing oxygen supply and demand.

Emphasize the importance of rest during the acute phase to reduce metabolic demands hence ensuring energy conservation for healing and respiratory sufficiency.

Ensure a quiet environment and promote rest to enhance healing and manage stress in the acute phase.

After 72 hours, the patient demonstrates an increased tolerance to activity.


Critical Review of Acute Pulmonary Eosinophilia

It is a rare condition resulting from accumulated eosinophils in the lungs. It is characterized by a sudden onset of symptoms developing within the first week. Associated symptoms include difficulty breathing, cough, dyspnoea, chest pain, fatigue, myalgia, abdominal discomfort, and joint aches. The cause of this condition is idiopathic. However, studies postulate that AEP results from an unidentified agent that triggers the body to produce eosinophils and then sends them to the lungs (Lee, 2021). Moreover, environmental and occupational factors have been proven to trigger this condition. These include exposure to smoke and dust and cigarette smoking.

Males are affected by AEP nearly twice as much as females. However, the medical literature has reported less than 200 cases, and the precise prevalence is unknown. Individuals of any age are affected but most common in those aged between 20-40 years (De Giacomi et al., 2018). Related disorders are acute respiratory syndrome, a severe acute lung dysfunction similar to AEP. Also, pneumonia, an infection of the lungs with symptoms of fever, chest pain, cough, and dyspnoea, is correlated to AEP. Diagnostic procedures involve clinical testing and workup, chest x-ray, chest CT scan, and fiberoptic bronchoscopy. A complete blood count is also done, although it does not adequately demonstrate elevated eosinophils (Lee, 2021).

Patients with AEP respond to high corticosteroid doses initiated after the disease has been ruled out. Systemic corticosteroids are used whereby most patients are prescribed prednisone 40 to 60 mg per oral once a day. In addition, patients exhibiting respiratory failure are treated with methylprednisolone 60 to 125 mg IV every 6 hours as specified (Lee, 2021). Lastly, respiratory manifestations include a non-productive cough, shortness of breath, tachypnea, pleuritic chest pain, bibasilar inspiratory crackles, and rhonchi on forced exhalation.



Ackley, B. J., Ladwig, G. B., Makic, M. B. F., Martinez-Kratz, M., & Zanotti, M. (2019). Nursing diagnosis handbook E-book: An evidence-based guide to planning care. Elsevier Health Sciences.

De Giacomi, F., Vassallo, R., Yi, E. S., & Ryu, J. H. (2018). Acute Eosinophilic Pneumonia. Causes, Diagnosis, and Management. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine197(6), 728–736.

Lee, J. (2021). Acute Eosinophilic Pneumonia - Pulmonary Disorders - MSD Manual Professional Edition. MSD Manual Professional Edition. Retrieved from

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