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Asthma attacks during sleep

My mum passed away on the 25th January this year. My mum was a fit and healthy 61year old still working full time.

My mum was diagnosed with Asthma in her Twenties and had lived with it all this time. We assumed she had mild Asthma as only occasionally she would complain her chest was a bit wheezy and would use her inhaler and then would be fine.

My mum went to bed on a Friday night feeling fine and never woke up. When my mum was found by her partner he said she just looked like she was sleeping and looked peaceful. We all assumed that the reason she died was something to do with her heart. When we received the coroners report we were told that mum had died from A1 Acute Asthma. We asked the coroner ""so she had an Asthma attack"" and she said no her airways just closed while she was sleeping.

I really can't come to terms with this, how can you die from Asthma without waking up to an attack. I've searched the Internet for more info but there's nothing, I've spoken to an Asthma nurse who couldn't help me either as she had only heard of people dying from Asthma during an attack and not in their sleep.

I do take comfort from the fact that we don't think mum suffered at all but we are just all struggling to come to terms with what has happened.

I just want to know if anyone else has heard of this as I'm really frustrated that I can't find any information any where.

Love Jules

4 Replies

Oh sweetie, I am so sorry for your loss :-( huge hugs!

Unfortunately this can happen :-( I'm a brittle asthmatic, so quite severe, but to me it almost sounds like a type 2 brittle attack. I know there's times I just suddenly begin to really struggle to breathe and others I'll wake up and think ""oh c&@p I need a neb"". I have an epipen ""just in case""

I know that probably doesnt help in any way though.

Take care xxx


Im so sorry for the loss of your mum.

Sending lots if love and glynis


My son Jesse was diagnosed with asthma when he was an infant. He hadnt had an attack in about 2 year. On October 10, 2011 four days after his 5th birthday, he passed away from what the coroner concluded as an asthma attack. The coroner took six months and went through all Jesses medical records. He could not find the cause of Jesses death. Finally he asked me if Jesse had asthma and I told him Yes. Jesse was like your mom, passed peacefully in his sleep. I too find comfort in the fact that he did not suffer, however, I do not believe he had an asthma attack without any signs at all. He was at daycare at the time of his death. For me I feel that my sons autopsy did not have enough effort put in to find the exact cause of death. The daycare lady stated that Jesse woke up a couple times asking for water and fell back asleep, the only odd thing she noticed was him snoring.


When u was younger I woke up because I had an asthma attack in my sleep. When u woke up I couldn't take a breath for about a minute. I went in and out of consciousness between my hometown E.R. and being in a helicopter and being in my room with an iv in my hand..... Well later I was to be ASTHMA FREE... But I am recently having hard times breathing, a lot of coughing, and tightness in my chest.... I am worried that the same thing will happen again but I won't wake up..... 

What I'm trying to say is that there are People (like me) that have died (or almost died) by asthma attacks in their sleep.


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