Two out of three people with asthma currently do not have an Asthma Action plan, according to a survey undertaken by the Asthma Society, launched today 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 Asthma Society of Ireland is encouraging the 1,837 people in Leitrim with uncontrolled asthma to reduce their risk of a fatal asthma attack by getting an Asthma Action Plan. The survey was conducted April/May 2019, with 1,081 respondents.
Asthma Society CEO, Sarah O’Connor, said: “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 (the 5 Step Rule).
Every person who has asthma in Galway should be in possession of an Asthma Action Plan – UK research into asthma deaths indicated that having an up-to-date Asthma Action Plan made it significantly less likely that a person would experience a fatal asthma attack.
"This Asthma Awareness Week we are calling on people all over the country to put an Asthma Action Plan in place.”
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 Asthma Management survey found that:
•Two out of three people with asthma do not 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 surveyed knew there was a 5 Step Rule for managing an asthma attack
•69% 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 Asthma Society will kick off its first ever Asthma Roadshow during Asthma Awareness Week. This roadshow will travel around the country to help people get in control of their asthma.
The roadshow’s next stop is Mahon Point Shopping Centre in Cork on 8 May (12 noon to 4pm), Eyre Square Shopping Centre on 9 May (2-6pm) and Letterkenny Retail Park on 10 May (12 noon to 4pm). People with asthma are encouraged to attend these events where they can meet with a respiratory specialist nurse one to one about getting in control of their asthma.
These events are designed to be family friendly and feature activities/games to get children to learn about and accept their own asthma or that of a friend or family member.
The inaugural Asthma Awareness Week runs from 4-10 May and is kindly supported by Boots Ireland and GSK.