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Long term outcome of ventilated asthmatics.
  1. P C Seddon,
  2. D P Heaf
  1. Respiratory Unit, Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool.


    Over a 25 year period, 31 asthmatic children received artificial ventilation for acute asthma at Alder Hey Children's Hospital on 48 occasions. Altogether 47 episodes occurred from 1971-89, with no decline in the number of episodes per year (mean 2.5) over this period. Eight children died during intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV), and of the 23 survivors, three further children had subsequently died from asthma. Seventeen children were followed up for more than a year after IPPV. Sixteen still had symptoms of asthma and over half had symptoms every day. Ten cooperated with pulmonary function tests: mean forced expiratory volume in one second was 83% of predicted and geometric mean provocative histamine concentration (PC20) was 2.1 mg/ml. Since the follow up study a fourth patient had died from asthma. IPPV continues to be required for a small number of asthmatic children each year. The survivors remain a high risk group with significant continuing morbidity and mortality.

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      Margaret A Branthwaite