Death rarely comes to patients in status asthmaticus. Thieme and Sheldon,1 summarizing the literature prior to 1937, counted only 43 cases with autopsy reports in which the patient died in an asthmatic paroxysm. They added 7 such cases and since then additional cases have been reported by Fowler2 and by Lamson and Butt.3
Of 56,000 admissions to the medical service of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, 1,378 represented those of 992 patients who had had either a primary or a secondary clinical diagnosis of bronchial asthma; of this number 49 died. Autopsies were performed on 23 of these 49 patients. In 7 of these 23 patients the clinical picture was that of status asthmaticus, the autopsy observations were consistent with bronchial asthma and no extrapulmonary cause of death was present.
The 7 cases are herewith reported.
The patients were all women between the ages of