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Monday, June 6, 2011

"Just" an asthma attack

I helped out with the Fight For Air walk on Saturday with our state American Lung Association chapter. I had the chance to talk to a lot of people about their experiences with asthma.

One woman told me about being in the hospital with a loved one, and seeing someone else come in who "just" had an asthma attack. Except that she was on a ventilator (it's the machine that breathes for you and keeps you alive)

Does everyone know that "just" having an asthma attack can kill you? In the U.S. every day, there are about 11 people that die from "just" having an asthma attack. That's right, with all the medication and doctors and hospitals, people are still dying of asthma attacks.

Why is that? I'm not sure. There are about 40,000 people every day that have an asthma attack, about 5,000 people will need to go to the emergency room, about 1,000 people will be admitted to the hospital. And of course there are the 11 people every day that die.

PLEASE know the signs of an asthma attack
Don't wait until you are gasping for air or coughing so hard you can't use your inhaler. Many people wait too long to use their inhaler. If you are having any of the problems breathing listed in the link, use your inhaler! It can prevent a trip to the emergency room, and hopefully keep you alive.

Asthma is serious, treat it that way! It's completely changed my life, my goal is to help other people understand asthma, how to treat it, and avoid the pitfalls.

I tell people that my goal in life is to keep myself and my kids alive. They always laugh, but it's true. My kids have been in the hospital 12 times, and 2 of those were close calls. The nurses were just waiting for my son to "crash" or quit breathing. Asthma can kill. We have managed to avoid that so far, but if you Google "asthma deaths," you can find story after story of people who were found dead on the floor because they couldn't get their inhaler in time.

Please be careful and take asthma seriously!

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