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  • Asthma has taken my brother

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    Old 08-22-2004, 04:03 AM   #1
    HVP
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    Asthma has taken my brother

    My brother, Carl, passed away in the early hours of Monday 9th August from an asthma attack - he was 37. Sunday 8th August was the hottest night ever recorded in London (79c), and the unbearable conditions undoubtedly affected Carl tremendously.

    I always knew asthma was a killer, but was simply not prepared for this. But I need to know some facts. All his life Carl was on the strongest available inhaler, but he managed his asthma well. But for the previous week Carl was suffering from shortness of breath - nothing I haven't seen before, and an overnight stay in hospital on the Friday after a session on the nebuliser had cleared him out completely. I saw him on Sunday afternoon and he looked fine. 12 hours later he was dead.

    How could this be? Normally the nebuliser makes him better than normal, giving him a free run for weeks without any major symptoms. Was it a case that, after 37 years his airwaves had simply reached the end of functioning properly and the nebuliser only gave him a couple more days? Or was it the weather?

    I really need to know how his final moments would have been - I hate to think he suffered. His housemate heard a call in the middle of the night for help and came straight away. They were his final words. Carl had started to get dressed but by the time his housemate had come back from the phone dialling 999 Carl was half dressed and unconscious. Although the ambulance came in only 5 minutes, they couldn't save him.

    At the moment myself and his family are all suffering terribly from this tragic loss. Life will never be the same without him, Carl was so well loved and like. Over 150 people attended his funeral.

    I just need to know why my brother died so young. Any info here would be a huge help into understanding why.

    RIP Carl
    xxx

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    Old 08-22-2004, 06:25 AM   #2
    jp3892
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    Re: Asthma has taken my brother

    I hate to say it but it could have been the nebuliser that killed him. If he had any kind of underlying heart condition at all then he most likely passed away from sudden death. This sudden death can be brought about by taking stimulants which cause palpitations and arhythmias such as albuterol and theophylline/aminophylline. When they are used together it is extremely dangerous even for healthy people.

     
    Old 08-22-2004, 07:32 AM   #3
    Machaon
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    Re: Asthma has taken my brother

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HVP
    My brother, Carl, passed away in the early hours of Monday 9th August from an asthma attack - he was 37. Sunday 8th August was the hottest night ever recorded in London (79c), and the unbearable conditions undoubtedly affected Carl tremendously.
    I've got asthma and a heart condition. When I get an asthma attack, even a mild one, my heart also misbehaves. If it is hot, I get much worse.

    Quote:
    I always knew asthma was a killer, but was simply not prepared for this. But I need to know some facts. All his life Carl was on the strongest available inhaler, but he managed his asthma well. But for the previous week Carl was suffering from shortness of breath - nothing I haven't seen before, and an overnight stay in hospital on the Friday after a session on the nebuliser had cleared him out completely. I saw him on Sunday afternoon and he looked fine. 12 hours later he was dead.
    An allergic reaction can be controlled as long as you don't encounter additional allergens within the same time period. Your brother was already having asthma problems. It can take three days or more for the body to get completely over an allergy attack.

    Even though the nebuliser helped restore your brother's breathing, his body was already suffering from an allergic reaction which would last for another few days. During this period, if he ate something, or came into contact with something that he was allergic to, it would add to the previous allergic load, and quite possibly make a new, much worse allergic reaction.

    Did your brother eat something different? Did he come into contact with any chemicals? Did he visit someone he hadn't visited in a long time, perhaps with pets or wall to wall carpetting, or perhaps he encountered someone who was a smoker?

    Quote:
    How could this be? Normally the nebuliser makes him better than normal, giving him a free run for weeks without any major symptoms. Was it a case that, after 37 years his airwaves had simply reached the end of functioning properly and the nebuliser only gave him a couple more days? Or was it the weather?
    The nebuliser helped your brother to breathe, but it did not take away the allergic reaction going on in his body. It could have been a bad, tragic combination of the heat, a high level of pollen and pollution in the air, and something else new, that he came into contact with.

    Quote:
    I really need to know how his final moments would have been - I hate to think he suffered. His housemate heard a call in the middle of the night for help and came straight away. They were his final words. Carl had started to get dressed but by the time his housemate had come back from the phone dialling 999 Carl was half dressed and unconscious. Although the ambulance came in only 5 minutes, they couldn't save him.
    I've had very severe asthmatic reactions. During the last asthma attack I had, I sat up all night without being able to breathe at all. For hours, not one breathe came in or out. My heart was going nuts. I kept taking my rescue inhaler, but it didn't do any good. I should have gone to the ER, but I didn't. I didn't have the money, and I had never gone through an asthma attack like that, so I was confused. I am lucky that I survived the attack.

    It was uncomfortable. It took an enormous effort to attempt to breath. But it wasn't painful. I kept feeling like I was going to pass out. My biggest problem wasn't the discomfort, it was the anxiety.

    If I were to guess at your brother's final hours, it consisted of him dealing with a very tight chest, with difficulty breathing, no pain, and with the feeling that, perhaps in a little while it will ease up and he will be ok. He probably ended up unconscious, without the realization that the asthma attack was fatal.

    Quote:
    At the moment myself and his family are all suffering terribly from this tragic loss. Life will never be the same without him, Carl was so well loved and like. Over 150 people attended his funeral.

    I just need to know why my brother died so young. Any info here would be a huge help into understanding why.

    RIP Carl
    xxx
    My deepest sympathy for your great loss. Carl sounds like he was one of those rare individuals who made people feel good just by his presence. I wish you and your family, and Carl's friends, the strength and fortitude to be able to deal with your great loss.

    Last edited by Machaon; 08-22-2004 at 07:47 AM.

     
    Old 08-22-2004, 11:50 AM   #4
    cajunmommy
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    Re: Asthma has taken my brother

    I don't really think that anyone on this board can tell you what happened to your brother. They can give opinions, but not facts. Maybe you need to ask these questions to your brothers doctors. I can't help you wanted to say how very sorry I am for your lost. My young son has asthma and I know how scary it can be. God bless you and your family,

    cajun mommy

     
    Old 08-22-2004, 08:58 PM   #5
    Blondee15
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    Re: Asthma has taken my brother

    Just wanted to clear everyones heads: Asthma actually has a VERY low death rate, it CAN kill, but usually, it does not.
    Is there a possibility that the medicine in the nebulizer was no good? I've heard of many deaths associated with faulty nebulizers/medication/inhalers.
    Also, beerzoids is right. If the nebulizer is only a short acting beta agonist(albuterol, xopenex, etc), then it will only relax the tightened muscles. If he wasn't being treated for the inflammation, then the nebulizer doesn't do much good.
    my heart & prayers go out to you & carl & all involved.

     
    Old 08-29-2004, 04:36 PM   #6
    HVP
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    Re: Asthma has taken my brother

    I am sorry it has taken so long to get back to you all, but it has been a difficult week for me.

    Thank you for your comments and kind words. We had the coroners report back and all was fine with Carl's heart and other organs, just some imflamation and clogging in his respiratory system that is usual with asthma attacks.

    I know now that Carl didn't need to die, but he was just one of the unlucky few that are taken by asthma.

    So to those that suffer from asthma - please do look after yourselves.

     
    Old 08-30-2004, 05:38 PM   #7
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    Re: Asthma has taken my brother

    An autopsy could tell you whether or not there was some underlying condition or complication that had not been diagnosed. There are any number of possibilities - an underlying infection; an underlying heart condition; failure to take sufficient amounts of meds; failure of meds to work properly.

    I am so sorry to hear of your brother's death. In the US, child death rates due to asthma are up.

    I should tell you that asthmatics can deterioriate very quickly despite medications. There are no guarantees when it comes to asthma.

     
    Old 09-03-2004, 01:59 PM   #8
    bluebanana
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    Re: Asthma has taken my brother

    Hello
    I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear that you have lost your brother. I have brittle asthma and know how serious it can be, I was in hospital in London through the heat wave and it affected me quite badly.
    I hope you and your family are recieving some form of support.
    Take care
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    Old 09-04-2004, 07:56 AM   #9
    LuvMyLilDoggie
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    Re: Asthma has taken my brother

    I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers are with you and your family and also with Carl's many friends.
    Barb
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