World Asthma Day 2018 - Press Release

28 Apr 2018
World Asthma Day 2018 - Press Release (2)

Tuesday May 1st is World Asthma Day.

 

 

 

An asthma attack is an extremely scary situation to find yourself in. It is almost like dry drowning. Nothing can compare or even explain how it feels to not be able to catch your breath. As a result of one attack I passed out, was rushed to hospital by ambulance where I remained for three weeks

Photography with Minister for Health, Simon Harris, will be supplied by Keith Arkins by 3.45 pm on Tuesday 1st May

 

Press Release

 

ONLY 7% OF ASTHMATICS KNOW ALL THE SYMPTOMS OF AN ASTHMA ATTACK

Learn the symptoms of an asthma attack and the 5 Step Rule to save a life - Asthma Society ‘World Asthma Day’ 2018

 

1st May 2018

Only 7% of asthmatics know all the symptoms of an asthma attack, according to the Asthma Society of Ireland. One person dies a week in Ireland as a result of their asthma, but 90% of these deaths are preventable. To mark the global World Asthma Day, the Society wants everyone to learn the symptoms of an asthma attack and the 5 Step Rule to save a life.

 

A recent Asthma Society survey of over 1,100 asthmatics, supported by both GSK & Boots Ireland, has revealed an alarming gap in knowledge around managing asthma and the resulting asthma attacks.

•               Only 7% of asthmatics know all asthma symptoms when surveyed

•               27% of asthmatics do not consider daily use of their reliever inhaler as an indication that they are at risk of an asthma attack

•               Almost half of asthmatics would not see a health care professional after having an attack

•               20% do not know that exposure to known asthma triggers is putting oneself at risk of an asthma attack

•               Only one in five asthmatics know it is safe to have 10 puffs of reliever inhaler during an asthma attack

•               Less than 5% of asthmatics know they must see a Healthcare Professional if they using their reliever inhaler more than twice a week

 

The CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, Sarah O’Connor said:

“It is troubling to think that so few asthmatics know all the symptoms of an asthma attack, placing them at huge risk of a serious attack which can be fatal. Therefore, it is vital that all asthmatics and their carers learn the symptoms of an asthma attack and the 5 Step Rule so that they are fully prepared. It really could be the difference between life and death. Our partnership with Boots Ireland during May is an ideal way to have your asthma reviewed and to learn the 5 Step Rule.”

 

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has also encouraged people to take the opportunity to have their asthma management checked and to learn the 5 Step Rule:

“This campaign is so important for public health in Ireland, as asthma is so prevalent here. Asthma can be very manageable if people are better informed about how to get it under control and have their care reviewed regularly. However, an asthma attack is an emergency and must be taken seriously. It is vital that asthmatics, their carers, and the people who surround them in work, school, and recreational life know the 5 Step Rule to be followed during an attack. I would encourage people to use the Asthma Society of Ireland’s free Adviceline on 1800 44 54 64 for tips on best asthma management.”

 

Susan O’Dwyer, Healthcare Development Manager with Boots Ireland said:

“We are delighted to partner with the Asthma Society for this important campaign. We want to raise awareness of how important it is for every single person to recognise the symptoms of an asthma attack and to understand the steps to take if an asthma attack strikes. Keeping asthma well controlled can reduce the chances of suffering an attack. 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 medication and condition.”

 

Martijn Akveld, Director of Medical Affairs with GSK said:

“GSK is proud to support this campaign and we encourage people to share the information about asthma attacks with their family and friends. We share the Asthma Society’s mission to save and improve the lives of people with asthma and we are committed to helping those with the condition do more, feel better and live longer. We believe that proper asthma management is essential in preventing attacks. Through the campaign, asthmatics and their carers can learn how to use their inhaler properly, why it is so important to take their medication regularly and what the common triggers are for an asthma escalation. All these actions can prevent an attack.”

 

The Asthma Society has launched its new website www.asthma.ie today, to celebrate World Asthma Day. An event has been organised to mark this day in Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre on Tuesday, May 1st. Nurses will be available on the day to answer all asthma-related questions, along with fun games for children with asthma. The Asthma Society has produced videos and infographics as part of the campaign to help members of the public to recognise the most common asthma symptoms and to know the 5 Step Rule to be followed during an attack. The Asthma Society will distribute wallet cards with the 5 Step Rule.

 


He had a coughing asthma attack. He had a persistent cough that could not be satisfied. This cough got worse and worse until all he was doing was coughing. His breathing was from his tummy, pale and tired from working so hard and couldn’t sleep from the effort of coughing. I thought he was going to die.

Mother of a Child with Asthma

How an asthma attack feels:

“An asthma attack is an extremely scary situation to find yourself in. It is almost like dry drowning. Nothing can compare or even explain how it feels to not be able to catch your breath. As a result of one attack I passed out, was rushed to hospital by ambulance where I remained for three weeks.”

"There have been times during attacks when I thought I was going to die. I have had multiple hospital admissions including trips to ICU as a direct result of asthma attacks. It is quite frightening for those around me when they see my inhaler is not helping me while they are waiting for an ambulance to come."


5 Step Rule

1. Stay calm. Sit up straight - do not lie down.

2. Take slow steady breaths.

3. Take one puff of your reliever inhaler (usually blue) every minute.

Use a spacer if available.

  •  People over 6 years can take up to 10 puffs in 10 minutes.
  •  Children under 6 can take up to 6 puffs in 10 minutes.

4. Call 112 or 999 if your symptoms do not improve after 10 minutes.

5. Repeat step 3 if an ambulance has not arrived in 10 minutes.

 

Remember, if someone is having an asthma attack:

  • Do not leave them on their own.
  • Extra puffs of reliever inhaler (usually blue) are safe.

 

Symptoms of an asthma attack: 

wheezing, continuous coughing, chest tightness, shallow breathing, lips turning blue, difficulty finishing sentences.

Asthma in Ireland:

  • 470,000 Irish people have asthma, including one in five children
  • One Irish person dies every week as a result of their asthma – of these deaths, 90% are preventable
  •  Uncontrolled asthma is dangerous – every 26 minutes someone in Ireland visits an Emergency Department with asthma
  • Asthma costs the state more than €500 million per annume
  • Children miss 12 days of school per year and adults miss 10 work days a year due to their asthma

There have been times during attacks when I thought I was going to die. I have had multiple hospital admissions including trips to ICU as a direct result of asthma attacks. It is quite frightening for those around me when they see my inhaler is not helping me while they are waiting for an ambulance to come.