Pictured marking Asthma Week were Susan O’Dwyer, Healthcare Development Manager with Boots Ireland and CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, Averil Power. Photo Conor McCabe Photography
2,542 asthmatics in Longford are not using their inhalers correctly, leaving them at risk of a serious asthma attack and even death, according to the Asthma Society of Ireland.
Currently there are 3,851 people with asthma in Longford. Two thirds of those don’t use their inhaler correctly.
The Society has teamed up with Boots Ireland (the local Boots pharmacy is on Ballymahon Street, Longford) for World Asthma Day (Tuesday, May 2, 2017) and Asthma Week (May 1 - 8).
To mark the awareness week, Boots is providing free ‘Let's Breathe Easy’ asthma consultations and support packs in its 83 pharmacies throughout the country during the month of May.
According to the CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, Averil Power, “Up to 60 per cent of all asthmatics don’t use their inhalers correctly and so don’t have their asthma under control. As a result, someone ends up in A&E every 26 minutes with a serious asthma attack and 50 people die each year from the condition. Tragically, the vast majority of these deaths could be prevented through proper asthma management. This partnership with Boots will provide asthmatics of all ages with an excellent opportunity to discuss their asthma with a pharmacist and get advice on how to manage it better.”
Susan O’Dwyer, Healthcare Development Manager with Boots Ireland said, “Throughout the month of May, asthma patients can avail of a free ‘Let’s Breathe Easy’ consultation in their local Boots pharmacy. These consultations are designed to provide advice and support to patients with asthma, helping them to better manage their condition. They can discuss their current use of medication with a pharmacist and have their inhaler technique checked to ensure they are not wasting their medicine by using their device incorrectly.”
Minister for Health Simon Harris, is also encouraging people to take the opportunity to have their asthma management checked this World Asthma Day.
According to the Minister, “With proper management, people with asthma can live full lives, symptom-free. However, poor asthma control leaves them at risk of having a serious attack at any time. I would encourage everyone with asthma to avail of the advice of their pharmacist to ensure they are taking their inhalers correctly and managing their asthma to the best effect. It is also worth reminding parents that, since 2015, all children under the age of six are entitled to a free annual asthma check with their GP. This has proven extremely helpful to parents in managing their children’s asthma so it's important that everyone is aware of this entitlement.”