Yes, asthma causes 4,000 deaths a year in the United States. But this is during very severe attacks, where an asthma sufferer can turn blue from lack of oxygen and can experience chest pain or even loss of consciousness. Just before loss of consciousness, there is a chance that the patient will feel numbness in the limbs and palms may start to sweat. The person's feet may become cold. Severe asthma attacks which are not responsive to standard treatments, called status asthmaticus, are life-threatening and may lead to respiratory arrest and death.