More care needed to prevent asthma deaths, report finds. It has been found in The National Review of Asthma Deaths, published 6th May 2014, that there are too few uses of preventer inhalers, and too much reliance on reliever inhalers. A report confirms that too many people with asthma are not being adequately supported to manage their condition effectively; that more could be done to help people with asthma who have just been discharged from hospital; and that in some cases people with asthma whose prescriptions suggest they are struggling are not receiving the extra help they need.
The study found some shocking statistics:
- Nearly half of all those included in the study had not received any medical help during their last attack.
- The standard of care received was less than satisfactory in a quarter of those who died
- 10% of those who died did so within one month of discharge from hospital following treatment for asthma, while at least 21% had attended an emergency department at least once in the previous year
- There was widespread under-use of the preventer inhalers and excessive over-reliance on reliever inhalers
But community pharmacy can make a real difference in this area. For example, a study on the Isle of Wight showed that MURs (Medicine Use Reviews) designed to help asthma patients use inhalers correctly reduced hospital admissions related to the condition by more than 50% over a three month period.
To read more on the study, and read what Alastair Buxton, PSNC Head of NHS Services said, click here.