Did you know having and following an asthma action plan could prevent you from presenting at hospital?
A recent report commissioned by St.LukesHealth highlighted that in Tasmania, asthma is now among the top five reasons for potentially preventable hospitalisations in the 25 to 34 age group.
Statistics from the Australian Government Productivity Commission 2018 report on government services, shows that only 18 per cent of Tasmanians diagnosed with asthma between the ages of 25 and 44 had a written asthma plan in 2014-2015. This was higher for children zero to 14 years with 47.7 per cent having an action plan in the 2014-15 year.
What is asthma?
More than 2.5 million Australians have been diagnosed with asthma. This equates to one in 10 adults and one in nine children. Regardless of your age, anyone can have asthma.
Asthma and allergies are closely linked. Indoor and outdoor pollution, including moulds, gases, chemicals, particles and cigarette smoke can increase a person’s risk of developing the illness. But symptoms can also be trigged by colds and flu.
What causes asthma symptoms?
Asthma causes three main changes to the airways inside the lungs and all these can happen together.
What is an asthma plan?
An asthma action plan helps a person with asthma, or their carer, to recognise worsening asthma and what to do in response.
It is a written document that is based on symptoms.
The process for developing this action plan is done in consultation with your doctor. Once written, the plan assists a person with asthma or their carer take early action to prevent or reduce the severity of an attack.
Once this is completed, the asthma action plan is given to the person with asthma. Parents should give a copy of their child’s asthma action plan to their child’s school, pre-school or childcare facility.
What should the plan include?
All asthma plans should:
Many asthma action plans follow a traffic light system of green, amber and red to assess the severity of flare-ups, with green for under control and red for emergencies.
A response plan, which is part of the asthma action plan, should include:
The benefits of an asthma action plan?
Asthma action plans are one of the most effective asthma interventions available to people with asthma.
The plan helps to:
Now doesn’t that make you breathe easier!
Content contributed by: Asthma Foundation of Tasmania.