My 16 year old niece was recovering at home from pneumonia when she had an asthma attack and suffered respiratory arrest. She was resuscitated and hospitalized but her condition deteriorated and she passed away a few days later due to respiratory complications. What is respiratory arrest and are all asthma sufferers vulnerable to it? She never had respiratory arrest before during an asthma attack and we thought that she was getting better after the pneumonia. Thank you.
This is a very sad story. Respiratory arrest is when the breathing stops. This is not a common problem, but obviously can occur with both asthma and with pneumonia. All asthmatics are vulnerable to having a severe attack and suffering a fatal outcome. Unfortunately, this is not well known by the public.
My condolances. Asthma is a very complicated disease. I read a study that demonstrated that people who don't have chronic asthma have a higher fatality rate than those who do. Presumably because those with chronic asthma always have a bronchodilator such as albuterol on hand at all times. Attacks can be sudden, and it's like falling off a cliff. The rapidity with which the situation deteriorates is frightening. The patient who has just developed asthma, or has only had an attack or two, may be reluctant to summon immediate aid. It's natural not to want to bother people. That reluctance can contribute to a very bad outcome.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.