May 22, 2009

Northgate High mourns death of student to apparent asthma attack

This is so sad.

The Contra Costa Times today just has a page 3 photo of students at Walnut Creek's Northgate High laying flowers and signs commemorating the death of Michael Gaines, 16. The Times says Gaines died from an apparent asthma attack earlier in the week.

What a thing to have happen to these kids so close to the end of the year, or at any time. What a tragedy for his family.

Most people don't think of asthma as being deadly, but it is. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 11 people in the United States die every day from asthma. My husband has asthma, and earlier in our marriage we had a close call, in which he had to be admitted to the hospital. Also, a few times, he has had to go to the emergency room for "breathing treatments."

Asthma is:
"Characterized by inflammation of the air passages resulting in the temporary narrowing of the airways that transport air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Asthma symptoms can be caused by allergens or irritants that are inhaled into the lungs, resulting in inflamed, clogged and constricted airways. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing tightness in the chest. In severe cases, asthma can be deadly."

"There is no cure for asthma, but asthma can be managed with proper prevention and treatment."
Other facts about asthma

--More Americans than ever before say they are suffering from asthma. It is one of this country's most common and costly diseases.

--And every day, 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital, 5,000 people visit the emergency room, 30,000 people have an asthma attack, and 40,000 people miss school or work.

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