In Fatal Asthma, pulmonary medicine expert witness Dr. James F. Lineback, Newport Longevity Medical Group, writes:
Asthmatics who eventually go on to develop acute respiratory failure experience a gradual drop in blood oxygen and ,eventually, an elevated arterial carbon dioxide level during the time when most of their strength is devoted to breathing. As oxygen continues to drop and pressure inside the chest rises due to an increased respiratory effort, the heartbeat may become irregular which can result in a fatal cardiac arrhythmia if the problem is not solved immediately.
Early treatment of asthma actually prevents the accumulation of dried secretions in the airways, as well as the narrowing of those structures. As that process progresses, however, treatment becomes increasingly difficult, which may eventually place these patients at high risk for a fatal outcome. Appropriate management, therefore, involves aggressive treatment at an early stage in order to prevent these patients from progressing to a stage where they eventually become at high risk for a fatal outcome.