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April 1959

The Management of the Acute Attack of Asthma in Childhood: Special Reference to Short-Term Steroid Therapy

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;97(4):432-438. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070010434008

A number of reports1-4 have appeared in the literature attesting to the great value of the steroids in the alleviation of the acute asthmatic attack in children. There is no question that such attacks are relieved by steroids with dramatic promptness in most cases, even when other methods fail. With the use of these hormones, the number of such children developing status asthmaticus requiring hospitalization has been very markedly reduced.4 This is not to say, however, that the time-tried and proven methods of treating the acute asthmatic attack in children have been displaced. Indeed, on the contrary, they need reemphasis so that the physician does not needlessly embark on the use of these powerful and potentially dangerous hormones without initially carrying out many other important and beneficial procedures. In this connection, one should note a recent report5 on the immediate therapy of the acute attack of asthma