#AsthmaMatters: Ruth Morrow

04 Feb 2020

Hi, my name is Ruth and I am an asthma and COPD nurse specialist. I have worked as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in a GP practice where I have run asthma and COPD clinics. I am now self employed and I do asthma clinics in pharmacies and talks for the Asthma Society of Ireland. I also work closely with practice nurses and GPs in updating them on asthma and COPD and assist them in setting up asthma and COPD clinics in their practices.

As I meet people with asthma and their families, there are a number of recurring issues:

  • the cost of medication
  • lack of structured asthma programmes at GP level with regular reviews
  • lack of awareness of the symptoms of acute asthma attacks
  • the lack of awareness of the dangers of overuse of and over-reliance on Salbutamol
  • the lack of self-management plans and how to use these appropriately
  • the inappropriate¬†use of nebulisers

The majority of people with asthma can live full active lives. However, what frequently astounds me is the public's perception of asthma and how asthma symptoms are underestimated as being "mild". It is people with so-called "mild" asthma who frequently end up in hospital or at the GP surgery with worsening asthma which can be controlled with the right medication, good inhaler technique, education and a self-management plan