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July 1965

Asthma as a Lethal Disease

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn
From the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Section of Pediatrics.

Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(1):1-2. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030007001

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ASTHMA as a cause of death in children has been considered rare. The report in this issue of the pathological findings in 24 children who died of asthma is striking evidence that asthma can be lethal.

The study by Richards and Patrick represents the largest number of children reported thus far who have died of asthma. It should be read carefully by all pediatricians and physicians in general practice as well as by those who limit their practice to allergy. Were one, in retrospect, to change the treatment given in this series, it would, in many of the cases, be in the management of the child before he reached the hospital.

All but three of the children were found to have a large quantity of thick mucus in the tracheobronchial tree, and, in most cases, it plugged much of the airway. Iodides or glyceryl guaiacolate had been administered to some

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