Asthma is a common affliction, affecting 8-10 percent of the population. Many childhood asthmatics grow out of the disorder in adulthood, so a disproportionate percentage of people with asthma are children. For most people, asthma is a minor inconvenience, akin to—and often associated with—seasonal allergies. An unlucky fraction of asthmatics, however, have a more severe form of the illness. About 11,000 people die of asthma each year, and the rate of asthma deaths has increased 50 percent since 1980. Most asthma deaths are preventable with prompt, competent emergency care. Here’s what you need to know about intubation and ventilation of asthma patients.