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Recognition and Treatment of Potentially Fatal Asthma

RONALD FELDMAN, M.D.
Ann Intern Med. 1962;57(1):29-33. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-57-1-29
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It has frequently been stated and taught that bronchial asthma is not a lethal illness. Our experience has led us to question this concept, and a review of the literature reveals that death from asthma is not rare. This report is based on 12 cases of the syndrome of fatal asthma and includes 2 patients who were resuscitated from near-fatal episodes. We have tried to find clinical and physiological clues which may help us to delineate the asthmatic patient who is apt to die during a paroxysm.

Asthma was first described by Aretaeus, some 1,600 years ago, and the history

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asthma

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