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Death due to bronchial asthma is of two types. Type I occurs after prolonged status asthmaticus when the patient is comatose and exhausted. Type II is sudden and unpredictable, and may occur at any time during an asthmatic attack, or occasionally even without an attack developing.
The present paper reports twelve asthmatic patients who died suddenly. An attempt is made to build up a description of the asthmatic most at risk from this complication.
Possible immediate causes of death are briefly discussed. In the case of Type II, the most likely seem to be either vagal inhibition or acute cor pulmonale.
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