Asthma Deaths are on the Rise

A new survey from the Asthma Society of Ireland has revealed that most people with the condition do not have their asthma under control.

The survey was conducted April/May 2019, with 1,081 respondents The research was conducted after recent figures for asthma deaths show they are on the rise. Ireland has the fourth highest incidence of asthma in the world. There are around 470,000 people who suffer from asthma in Ireland and there are two asthma related deaths in Ireland every week. Over 90% of asthma deaths are preventable

The Asthma Management survey found that:
– Two out of three people with asthma do not have an Asthma Action Plan
– Two out of three people with asthma have not spoken to their healthcare professional in the last six months
– Only 63% of people surveyed knew there was a 5 Step Rule for managing an asthma attack
– 69% people with asthma would not know the 5 Step Rule to manage an asthma attack
– Half of people with asthma use their reliever inhaler more than the recommended twice a week
– Three out of five people with asthma do not use their controller inhaler all year round
– Nine out of ten people with asthma do not carry an Asthma Attack Card with them at all times
– One in five people with asthma would not know the six most common symptoms of an asthma attack

Asthma Society CEO, Sarah O’Connor, said: “It is truly frightening that asthma deaths are on the rise in Ireland – a person now dies every five days in Ireland from asthma. Our Asthma Management survey, launched today, highlighted a huge lack of awareness of how to manage asthma. The survey results showed that, in the event of an asthma attack, most people wouldn’t know the necessary steps to take to save a life (the 5 Step Rule). 470,000 people in Ireland have asthma and 60% do not have their asthma in control, greatly increasing the risk of suffering a fatal asthma attack. Every person who has asthma should be in possession of an Asthma Action Plan – UK research into asthma deaths indicated that having an up-to-date Asthma Action Plan made it significantly less likely that a person would experience a fatal asthma attack. This Asthma Awareness Week we are calling on people all over the country to put an Asthma Action Plan in place.”

Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said: “I am strongly supporting the Asthma Society’s campaign today, encouraging people to take control of their asthma. Asthma management is extremely important. It allows people with the condition to live a longer, healthier and happier life. I encourage everyone to put an Asthma Action Plan in place – it is the one of the best asthma management tools available. People with asthma can work with their GP or asthma nurse, or phone the Asthma and COPD Adviceline for help to create their personalised plan on 1800 44 54 64.”

This Asthma Awareness Week, take control of your asthma so it doesn’t control you. Find out more about asthma and improve your inhaler technique by talking to your local Haven Pharmacist.