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Asthma sufferers dying unnecessarily

6th May 2014

There are unnecessary deaths from asthma in the UK due to a complacency amongst patients and medical staff.

inhaler

This is according to the first national study of asthma deaths in the UK.

Researchers from the National Review of Asthma Deaths found that sufferers did not receive any medical help during their final asthma attack. Although deaths linked to the condition have been falling, the UK had some of the highest rates of Europe - 1,242 in 2012.

The national review involved a detailed examination of the circumstances around 195 deaths; it suggested that danger signs were not recognised.

According to Asthma UK:

  • The UK has 5.5 million asthmatics
  • 75% of hospital admissions for asthma are avoidable and 90% of deaths are preventable
  • One in 11 children and one in 12 adults have asthma
  • Although it is more common in women
  • The NHS have a £1 billion bill each year treating and caring for people with asthma

Prof Mike Morgan, NHS England's national clinical director for respiratory services, said: "These statistics are a call to action for commissioners, health professionals and patients."

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