Asthma deaths have increased in recent times and according to a survey conducted by the Asthma Society of Ireland (ASI), two out of three Longford asthma sufferers have no Asthma Action plan in place.
This, the ASI says, puts all 2,311 Longford residents with uncontrolled asthma at risk of suffering a potentially fatal asthma attack. The results of the survey were officially launched today, May 09, by Minister for Health Simon Harris as part of Asthma Awareness week.
The research was conducted after recent figures for asthma deaths show they are on the rise. One person now dies every five days from asthma. The survey was conducted on 1,081 respondents in April/May 2019. The ASI have called on all 2,311 Longford people who suffer with uncontrolled asthma to reduce their risks of suffering a fatal attack by putting an Action Plan in place.
Asthma Society CEO, Sarah O’Connor, called the results ‘truly frightening’.
“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.” she said.
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.”
The survey also found that:
- Two out of three asthma sufferers didn’t 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 suffered knew there was a 5 Step Rule for managing an asthma attack
- 69% of 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.
As part of this campaign, the Asthma Society has produced two videos – both provide tips about asthma management. One very emotive video features Ciara Kelly who lost her mother to an asthma attack in 2018 and the other video features Michael McDonagh who shares his story of how he got in control of his asthma, getting his life back on track.
The inaugural Asthma Awareness Week runs from 4-10 May and is kindly supported by Boots Ireland and GSK. To support the Asthma Society, text BREATHE to 50300 TO DONATE €4.