My condolences to the family of the journalist (Anthony Shadid) who died from asthma covering Syria. Several “learning points” for those with asthma:
1. It appears he was exposed to horses and was very allergic to this animal. Unfortunately, allergic asthma can strike at any time, depending on exposure to the allergen. Many children are exposed to a cat or dog at grandma’s house during the holidays and have to go to the emergency department because of sudden asthma.
2. Even if you have your inhalers with you, asthma can be fatal. This is why you take “controller” medication as prevention. Sometimes the immediate rescue inhalers just aren’t enough.
3. Asthma isn’t the same disease in all patients. Sudden death from asthma occurs in two forms–>the type WITH warning and the type WITHOUT warning. If you review asthma death registries, some asthma patients have died from an exacerbation WHILE IN the hospital already.
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