Fatal asthma attack rate to be decrease

7 May 2012, 12:20
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asthma attack

A charity, Asthma UK have published a report which showed that third of people with asthma have a high risk of fatal asthma attack.


The study was based on the online survey of nearly 25 thousands people across the United Kingdom. The participants were asked to evaluate their asthma condition using a special Triple A (Avoid Asthma Attacks) test, based on a set of simple questions.


Half of the participant recognized that they are at risk of fatal asthma attack before taking a test. Asthma UK representatives told BBC that most of the asthma-related emergencies could be avoided.


In this case disease management is essential. Up to 75% of asthma-related hospital admissions are likely to be prevented if the awareness of patient's health conditions will be better.


But the latest findings suggest that people with asthma are considerably underestimating their risk of having an attack. Over half of respondents (55%) did not think they were at increased risk.


Yet the Triple A test results suggested 93% were at increased or highly increased risk.


Asthma kills three people every day, and every seven minutes someone in the UK is admitted to hospital with a potentially fatal asthma attack, according to Asthma UK. Those taking the test will fall into one of three categories, colour-coded like traffic lights.


The red category means the person runs a highly increased risk of a serious attack, while green would mean no increased risk.


In between, there is an amber category which is accompanied by advice that the person being tested is at an increased risk of an attack - and advises him or her to have a review with a GP or asthma nurse.


Each category is linked to advice on how to control the symptoms and what to do if someone does have an attack. And the test stresses that everyone's asthma is different and symptoms can come and go, which means there is no way to entirely rule out any risk of an attack.


People who have attended A&E or been admitted overnight to hospital for their asthma in the past six months tend to be at increased risk of a serious attack.


Similarly, those who rely on using their reliever (blue) inhaler five times a day or more or have needed a course of steroid tablets for their asthma in the past six months are also at increased risk.


Neil Churchill of Asthma UK said: "It's extremely worrying that many people with asthma do not realise their own risk of ending up in hospital".


"As up to 75% of emergency hospital admissions are preventable with better management and support it's vitally important people understand their asthma and crucial that they are supported by healthcare professionals who can help them to reduce their risk".

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