Featured Article| Volume 18, ISSUE 4, P399-402, April 2022

The Perfect Storm: Thunderstorm-Related Asthma


      • Thunderstorm asthma (TA) refers to exacerbation of asthma when thunderstorms are in the area.
      • Epidemic TA is a rare occurrence that impacts large numbers of patients who present with acute bronchoconstriction or asthma exacerbation after a thunderstorm, especially during high pollen counts.
      • Epidemic TA events have been reported worldwide, including a 3% increase in asthma associated with a thunderstorm events in the United States.
      • This article reviewed recommendations in case of an event.
      • Consideration for environmental impact and potential risk for TA/epidemic TA.


      Thunderstorm asthma refers to the increase in acute asthma symptoms during or immediately after severe storm activity, especially during certain seasons. Epidemic thunderstorm asthma occurs when large numbers of patients are affected by thunderstorm activity. These thunderstorm asthma cases can be anywhere from mild to severe symptoms and requiring serious medical attention. Epidemic thunderstorm asthma events emphasize the importance of preventative and ongoing asthma and allergic rhinitis identification and management along with community education and awareness. This review highlights the significant impact on the emergency medical system and the need for risk assessments, asthma action plans, and overall advanced emergency preparedness.


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      Nancy Cantey Banasiak, DNP, PPCNP-BC, is an associate professor at Yale University School of Nursing, Orange, CT, and can be contacted at [email protected]


      Sarah Ann Keil Heinonen, DNP, CPNP-BC, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.


      Amanda C. Filippelli, MSN, PPCNP-BC, AE-C, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford.