March 2nd, 2010
11:50 AM ET

Asthma advances

By Saundra Young
CNN Medical Senior Producer

23 million Americans, 7 million of those children, struggle with asthma.  The statistics are sobering.  Every day in the United States, 30,000 people have an asthma attack. 40,000 miss school or work because of the disease, emergency rooms see 5,000 asthma patients; 1,000 of those will actually be admitted to the hospital and 11 people will die.  Every day.  It's one of the country's most common, and most costly diseases.

During an asthma attack the smooth muscle around your trachea, or windpipe, constricts, squeezing down and causing shortness of breath and chest tightness.  There is no cure for this chronic disease, and for those who suffer with severe, persistent, debilitating asthma, quality of life can be downright miserable.  Treatment has been limited to medications that are often short lived and can potentially have side effects.

But according to Dr. Mario Castro, a pulmonologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri,  a breakthrough is close at hand.  Castro led a clinical trial testing the first ever non-drug treatment for severe asthma.  It's called bronchial thermoplasty and he contends that it actually prevents attacks (watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta's report here).

"What bronchial thermoplasty does is it allows us to go down into your windpipes, into your bronchial tubes and deliver a very controlled energy, a controlled heat to the lining of your windpipe," Castro said, "What it results in is that the muscle, the smooth muscle around your windpipe is decreased in the amount and size."

There are three treatments, three weeks apart and no overnight hospital stay.  Nearly 300 patients participated in the largest trial of it's kind here in the United States.  Those who actually got the treatment logged 84 percent fewer visits to the emergency room than the patients who didn't. 

Jenny and Michael McLeland, severe asthma sufferers their entire lives, were both got the thermoplasty.

Both of us experienced a huge change in our asthma symptoms." Jenny said. "The summer following our treatments we did RAGBRAI, which is a weeklong bike ride up in Iowa.  So it involved biking about 550 miles and camping over an entire weekend.  Prior to the treatment I couldn't sleep outside. I couldn't sit in the grass without getting wheezy.  So to be able to make it through an entire week with no problems was just phenomenal."

 Two and a half years after the treatment, Jenny hasn't had to make a single visit to the ER.  And Michael says he can't put a price on his new-found quality of life.

"I feel like I'm 18, 19 years old and doing anything, it feels like I can do anything I want to now.  I've done things that I didn't think I would be able to do. The quality of life– the expenses I don't have to worry about anymore, just kind of the emergency room costs and the physician costs and the medication was expensive."

Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, says anything new that will help these patients is an important advance.

"It's a new concept. Nobody up until now has thought of dealing with asthma by changing the anatomy of the lung.'  But Edelman cautions there is a downside.  "It's a complex procedure.  Local physicians who treat asthma will not be ready to use the technique."

An FDA advisory committee has already recommended approval on several conditions—such as doctors getting the proper training and requiring that the procedure be performed only at a facility with full resuscitation equipment.  The FDA is still  considering the recommendation.

So, if you're on the highest dose of your asthma medication and feeling like there's no where else to go, help could be just around the corner.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

soundoff (751 Responses)
  1. vào rồi

    Xoilac Tv Thẳng Bóng Đámu vs evertonĐây có lẽ là ngôi trường hợp “của đi thay nhân viên" khá như mong muốn đối cùng với Ben McLemore. Thiếu chút nữa tay ném của Los Angeles Lakers đã được thể gặp gỡ tai nạn nghiêm trọng. Cập nhật kết trái trận Việt Nam vs Lebanon thuộc play-off vòng loại Futsal World Cup 2021.


    June 28, 2021 at 10:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    This is a topic that is near to my heart... Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 28, 2021 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Ford Transit Conversion Shop

    I blog frequently and I seriously appreciate your information. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.


    June 28, 2021 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 28, 2021 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Van Conversion

    After looking over a handful of the blog posts on your website, I seriously like your technique of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my web site too and let me know what you think.


    June 28, 2021 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Utility Van Repair Shop

    There's definately a great deal to know about this topic. I love all of the points you have made.


    June 28, 2021 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Sprinter Rust Repair


    June 28, 2021 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Sprinter Van Body Shop


    June 28, 2021 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Camper Repair Near Me


    June 28, 2021 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Suspension Repair Sprinter Van


    June 28, 2021 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Nearby RV Repairs

    Iím amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I came across this during my search for something concerning this.


    June 28, 2021 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Van Body


    June 28, 2021 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    I absolutely love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím attempting to create my own site and want to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Thank you!


    June 28, 2021 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    June 29, 2021 at 01:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    Howdy! This article could not be written much better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!


    June 29, 2021 at 03:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Repair Orange County California

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post plus the rest of the site is also really good.


    June 29, 2021 at 03:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Camper Repair Near Me

    Hello there! I just wish to give you a huge thumbs up for the excellent info you have got right here on this post. I am returning to your blog for more soon.


    June 29, 2021 at 04:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Repair Seal Beach

    I must thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this website. I really hope to check out the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own website now 😉


    June 29, 2021 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Camper Repair Near Me


    June 29, 2021 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Authorized Mercedes Benz Service Centers Near Me


    June 29, 2021 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Repair Near Me

    Good article. I am experiencing some of these issues as well..


    June 29, 2021 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Vanlife Repair Costs For Mercedes Sprinter


    June 29, 2021 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now


    June 29, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Wheelchair Van Repair

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly feel this web site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the advice!


    June 29, 2021 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Repair

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may return yet again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    June 29, 2021 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Near Me Now

    I couldnít resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!


    June 29, 2021 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Repair Huntington Beach

    Hi! I just wish to give you a big thumbs up for the excellent info you have got here on this post. I'll be coming back to your web site for more soon.


    June 29, 2021 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Sprinter Mercedes Service

    This is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very precise informationÖ Thank you for sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 29, 2021 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Dodge Sprinter Repair Near Me

    Good day! I could have sworn Iíve visited this site before but after browsing through many of the posts I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím certainly happy I came across it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!


    June 29, 2021 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Dodge Sprinter Step Repair


    June 29, 2021 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Van Dent Repair Shop


    June 29, 2021 at 19:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Repair Santa Ana

    You are so interesting! I don't think I have read anything like this before. So great to find another person with genuine thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is something that's needed on the web, someone with some originality!


    June 29, 2021 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Ram Van Frame Repair


    June 29, 2021 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to revisit once again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    June 29, 2021 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Camper Van Conversion


    June 29, 2021 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Camper Repair Shop Near Me


    June 29, 2021 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. http://duna-anapa.net.ru/modules.php?name=Your_Account&op=userinfo&username=SherylSrok

    Rattling nice design and style and superb subject matter, absolutely nothing else we
    require :D.

    Visit my blog XTRM Life Keto Reviews (http://duna-anapa.net.ru/modules.php?name=Your_Account&op=userinfo&username=SherylSrok)

    June 29, 2021 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. htv7 trực tuyến

    Xoilac Tv Trực Tiếp Soccerkhu cau keoĐây có lẽ rằng là trường hợp “của đi thay cho người" khá như ý đối với Ben McLemore. Thiếu chút nữa tay ném của Los Angeles Lakers đã có thể bắt gặp tai nạn nguy hiểm. Cập nhật kết quả trận nước ta vs Lebanon thuộc play-off vòng loại Futsal World Cup 2021.


    June 30, 2021 at 02:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Repairs Nearby


    June 30, 2021 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Repair Orange County


    June 30, 2021 at 05:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Repair Orange County California

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am going through troubles with your RSS. I donít understand why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    June 30, 2021 at 05:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Nearby


    June 30, 2021 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Sprinter Side Door Repair

    I seriously love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this site yourself? Please reply back as Iím looking to create my very own blog and would like to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Appreciate it!


    June 30, 2021 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Rust Repair Sprinter

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this site. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal website now 😉


    June 30, 2021 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    Hi! I could have sworn Iíve visited this web site before but after going through a few of the articles I realized itís new to me. Regardless, Iím definitely delighted I found it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back often!


    June 30, 2021 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repair Near My Location


    June 30, 2021 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair Near My Location

    Your style is really unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this page.


    June 30, 2021 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. 188

    Xem Trực Tiếp Viettel Vs Tỉnh Bình Dương Tại V League 2021 Ở Kênh Nào? live casino houseĐội tuyển futsal nước Việt Nam đã có một trận đấu đồng ý được trước đối thủ cạnh tranh đầy mức độ mạnh Lebanon. Kết quả Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu vs Bình Phước thời điểm hôm nay 18h00 ngày 5/5, Hạng nhất nước Việt Nam.


    June 30, 2021 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. bảng xếp hạng laliga

    Link Coi Trực Tiếp Soccer Futsal Việt Nam Vs Lebanon Vòng Loại World Cuplịch phát sóng bóng đáNếu cứ nghịch như cách vừa đè bẹp Everton cho tới 3-1 bên trên sân khách


    June 30, 2021 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Marketing Near Me


    June 30, 2021 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Leave a Reply to Internet Marketing Contractors


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.