We must get rid of any complacency about asthma

Mo Farrah after missing out on a gold medal
				 Picture: Adam Davy

VERITY LUSH: Leave me to browse the make-up counter in peace

0
Have your say

How much do you know about asthma?

You may think you are fairly knowledgeable and familiar with what is a common respiratory condition that affects an estimated 5.5 million people in this country.

You may think you are fairly knowledgeable and familiar with what is a common respiratory condition that affects an estimated 5.5 million people in this country.

But were you aware asthma is so serious that every 10 seconds someone in the UK suffers a potentially life-threatening attack?

Or that asthma attacks kill three people each day and we have among the highest death rates from asthma in Europe?

Would you recognise the signs and know what to do in an emergency?

Worryingly, it’s not just members of the public who may not be sufficiently well-informed about asthma.

Charity Asthma UK claims many deaths caused by the condition could have been prevented.

It has called for leadership at every tier of the NHS to challenge what it sees as a worrying complacency.

Meanwhile a study by The Royal College of Physicians found 45 per cent of 195 people who died in their final asthma attack did not have any medical help.

The report also stated that at least 49 per cent of sufferers who died did not have their triggers recorded in medical notes, plus aspects of asthma care fell below expected standards in 26 per cent of cases where someone had died.

In one in four cases, management of the fatal asthma attack was inadequate.

Today we feature the heartrending story of Holly Sparshott from Gosport, who fell into a coma and died at the age of just 12 after an asthma attack in 2012.

Her mum, Sarah, wants to see better treatment of the condition and a greater understanding among medics about the potential seriousness of asthma.

We fully support her in that and believe raising awareness is the key.

Healthcare professionals should never, ever be complacent about what is a potentially fatal condition.

If they are not to let down themselves, their profession and their patients, they must increase their knowledge about asthma as a matter of urgency.