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death

My 13 year old cousin died the other month with asthma. Her death certificate said that it was bronchial asthma, but i am not entrirely convinced. She had, had two bad asthma attacks before this and i just wanted to know could this weaken her heart? Her heart stopped 4 minuets after the amublance and rapid response came to the house. Any suggestions?
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746512_tn?1388811180
I am sooooo sorry that you have to live through a death of a cousin like this.  I hope you have lots of great memories and are using those to help yourself move on after this.

Asthma can't directly harm the heart but there are indirect ways it causes harm.  The main way is through the lack of oxygen, if one can't breathe the heart doesn't recieve oxygen and literally starts to die (as well as the brain and other organs).  Asthma attacks limits the ability of one to absorb oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide - there are many ways the electrolytes and blood gas negatively change because of this and without very quick treatment they can be unable to reverse.  

I hope that helps give you some closure.

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Avatar_f_tn

Thankyou for that, its hard she had just turned 13 the week before she passed.

So could the lack of oxygen from her previous 2 attacks, start to kill the heart? Or is the heart able to repair itself? im just trying to get my head around it. the last attack she had we thought we would lose her but at this time she had normally had an infection, normally a chest infection or ear infection or something, but this time around she had no infection or illness.
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144586_tn?1284669764
You have my condolances. It is unlikely the heart was weakened. In a severe asthmatic attack the trachea closes up tight and not all EMS crews are trained and certified in endotracheal intubation. If they get an endotracheal tube in, and the heart has gone into ventricular fibrilation, generally there is a window of opportunity to restart the heart using electro-countershock. The most common condition following an asphyxial episode is ventricular fibrillation. Sometimes, if the heart stops a hard fist on the chest will restart it. This used to be part of the CPR protocol and was called a "precordial thump", but is only effective for a very short time...perhaps thirty seconds.
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746512_tn?1388811180
There may have been remodelling in her lungs causing it harder to recover from future attacks.  It causes the airways to narrow, thus each future attack takes less and less inflammation to block them.  

It also takes a long time for the inflammation to go down after an attack, future attacks tend to be more serious because there is already that base line of inflammation and sticky mucus.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for them answers i suppose this is some closure,  It just come as such a shock and i wasnt sure if there was any other reason that she couldnt come around from her attack.
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Avatar_m_tn
Was the incident due to her forgetting the inhalers?
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Avatar_f_tn
No she regularly took her inhalers, with her dad also having asthma he reminded her of the importance of taking them, so she never forgot to take her brown preventative, that she took on a morning and a night and, if she needed it she used her blue inhaler.
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