World Asthma Day-Change Your Life in 10 Minutes!
The Asthma Society of Ireland Launch New 10 Point Checklist to Empower People with Asthma
Asthma is a serious, potentially life threatening condition, yet up to 60% of Irish patients do not have their asthma controlled. To mark World Asthma Day, on Tuesday May 3rd, the Asthma Society of Ireland, with the help of rugby star Ronan O’Gara, is launching a new 10 point checklist to help patients get the most out of their asthma check up and improve their asthma control. Simply named ‘Change Your Life in 10 Minutes’, the checklist helps people with asthma prepare for their asthma review, understand what questions to ask their doctor or nurse and know where to look for advice and information. The Asthma Society of Ireland is encouraging people with asthma to download the checklist and discuss the steps with their doctor or nurse at their next visit.
Ireland has the 4th highest prevalence of asthma worldwide with almost half a million people affected by the condition. Mortality from asthma remains unacceptably high with at least one person dying from asthma every week in Ireland. Good asthma control is possible for the majority of patients through education, appropriate medication and following a personal asthma management plan.
The aim of the checklist is to help people with asthma get the most out of those vital 10 minutes they get with their doctor or nurse – 10 minutes that could change their life. The steps are split into three categories and the advice includes the following:
Before your visit use the checklist to review your own level of control and identify your asthma triggers – be sure to bring this with you to show to your healthcare professional.
During your visit get your peak flow and inhaler technique checked, discuss your medication and review your asthma management plan
At the end of the visit ask yourself if you know how to manage your asthma and most importantly what to do if you have an asthma attack – if the answer is no, then ask again.
Dr Jean Holohan, CEO, Asthma Society of Ireland commented, “The Asthma Society of Ireland is committed to the goal of reducing the burden of asthma in Ireland, and we are determined to reduce the number of tragic asthma deaths that still occur every year. The new checklist available from the Asthma Society will empower patients to seek optimal care for their condition which we hope will result in a reduction in the levels of uncontrolled asthma in Ireland. Informed and confident patients, working in partnership with their doctor or nurse, can really reduce the burden of asthma on their daily life”
The checklist is designed to strengthen the partnership between the person with asthma and their healthcare professional. Many people with the condition find it difficult to remember the questions they want to ask, especially in the short time available. By completing the self assessment section before the appointment, the doctor or nurse can identify if the person’s asthma is controlled or not.. Bringing the checklist to the visit also helps the patient or parent to ask the key questions to put them in control of their asthma.
Speaking at the launch, Ronan O’Gara, who has had asthma since childhood commented, “Without good asthma control my rugby career would not have reached the heights that it has. The checklist developed by the Asthma Society is a fantastic resource for people with asthma and parents of children with asthma – it is simple to use and puts you in control. Just download it from http://www.asthmasociety.ie, bring it with you to your next GP visit and follow the 10 steps to better asthma control”.
The initiative has been welcomed by the HSE National Asthma Programme. Dr Pat Manning, Clinical Lead for the Programme said “We are very supportive of this initiative as it will encourage patients to prepare for their asthma check-up and be an active partner in achieving optimal control. The message fits with the objective of the National Asthma Programme as it encourages patients to make an appointment for a structured asthma visit at least once a year”.
The Asthma Society of Ireland is also asking people to help raise vital funds for asthma education and research by logging on to the Asthma Society facebook page and sending a virtual balloon to your facebook friends. Dyson will donate €1 for every 10 virtual balloons sent.
If you would like to discuss your asthma with an asthma nurse specialist, call the Asthma Helpline on 1850 44 54 64