Inhaler overuse may have killed Colorado student

AP News
Posted: Sep 13, 2011 4:36 PM
Inhaler overuse may have killed Colorado student

A 19-year-old Colorado State University student may have died because she inadvertently used her asthma inhaler too much the evening of her death, doctors said.

A candlelight vigil was held at the school for Sascha Franzel, of Honolulu, on Monday following her burial in Commerce City. Franzel was taken to Poudre Valley Hospital on Saturday night where she was pronounced dead after she was found by a roommate.

According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan (, the official cause of death won't be available for several weeks.

Franzel's mother told the newspaper that her daughter suffered from severe asthma and nearly died last November. Sonia Franzel said her daughter carried an epinephrine injector pen with her in case of asthma attacks and that she sustained pulmonary stress on the night that she died.

"We know for sure she had a very bad attack," Sonia Franzel said.

Friends said Sascha Franzel attended a dinner party on Saturday evening but left early because she wasn't feeling well. They said she used her inhaler often at the party but said that wasn't unusual because she would often get excited in social situations.

Franzel was a third-year biology major who had hoped to become a pediatric craniofacial surgeon.

Roommate Rebecca Schwartz said their apartment was a center of socializing and singing.

"She was closest friends with everyone she met," Schwartz said.

More than 200 people turned out for the vigil where many shared memories of Franzel. It lasted for more than two hours.


Information from: Fort Collins Coloradoan,