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April 30, 1938


JAMA. 1938;110(18):1423-1427. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790180011004

In the treatment of allergic asthma one is occasionally confronted with a serious emergency which has received little attention in recent textbooks. Its clinical picture is characterized by severe collapse with constant extreme dyspnea to the point of exhaustion. Some authors1 refer to this condition in speaking of "status asthmaticus." Others have termed it "intractable asthma," thus indicating the inadequacy of the generally recognized methods of treatment. Fuchs2 has recently called this condition "asthmatic crisis." This probably is the most appropriate term. It implies that this condition results either in death or in at least a temporary amelioration of the asthmatic condition.

Concerning its onset, Clarke states that the asthmatic crisis usually climaxes a chronic state of asthma; but it may also occur during a series of acute asthmatic attacks. On the basis of its occurrence in an individual who has previously been suffering from asthma, it is

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