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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Asthma deaths on the rise

This news post is about 10 years old

​Better informed professionals hold key to combating needless deaths from asthma

Asthma deaths are on the rise, according to one of the most comprehensive surveys of the condition ever conducted in the UK.

The National Review of Asthma Deaths, conducted by the Royal College of Physicians in conjunction with Asthma UK, revealed the UK has some of the highest asthma death rates in Europe, with latest data showing asthma deaths are increasing.

Researchers found that in nearly half of the cases they looked at people with asthma did not receive any medical help during their final asthma attack.

Asthma should no longer be a Cinderella condition with no national endorsement for improvement plans

In Scotland, there were 89 deaths in 2012 and 6,080 emergency hospital admissions for asthma.

And across the UK prescribing errors were found to be a factor in 47% of deaths while there was room for improvement in the care received by 83% of those who died.

The charity is now calling for better measures to be put in place to stop needless deaths from the condition.

Gordon Brown, national director of Asthma UK Scotland, said: “We wholeheartedly endorse the Royal College of Physicians’ opinion that complacency in asthma care must end.

“Tragically, we hear far too often from families who’ve lost a loved one to an asthma attack, with three people killed by asthma every day."

Asthma UK's own research shows that too often the 1 in 11 people who have asthma are short-changed by the system.

He added: “Asthma should no longer be a Cinderella condition with no national endorsement for improvement plans”.

The Scottish Government said it would look closely at the key findings fo the research.