Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Asthma deaths in Cardiff 1963-74: 90 deaths outside hospital.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: (Published 19 June 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:1493

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  1. J B Macdonald,
  2. A Seaton,
  3. D A Williams


    In a detailed study of factors associated with death from bronchial asthma outside hospital 90 patients were investigated. The fatal attack was typically short and was most likely to occur in patients with a long history. Deaths often occurred before effective medical help was obtainable, but occasionally the patient or the doctor underestimated the severity of the attack. Patients especially at risk were those recently discharged from hospital after a previous attack. These deaths might be prevented by better patient education, a self-admission service for selected asthmatics, and by doctors using objective measurements of severity of asthma for the control of treatment. The underuse of corticosteroids is an important factor associated with death.