Updated: Sep 18
This week is National Asthma Awareness week, helping Australians to learn more about Asthma and its management. We are going to reveal some shocking facts about asthma.
Asthma – did you know?
1. Asthma can develop at any age.
That’s right – even if there have never been any symptoms before.
2. Australia has one of the highest prevalence rates of Asthma in the world!
We certainly live in a gorgeous country and is aplenty with a variety of immune triggers such as pollen, dust, smoke and air pollutants that can provoke an Asthma flare-up.
3. 389 Australians died from Asthma in 2018.
Asthma can usually be controlled. It takes good management, an effective Asthma action plan and of course, appropriate medication. However, the sad reality is, Asthma can be fatal. It is imperative you know how to treat an attack and manage Asthma.
4. One in 9 Australians are affected by Asthma.
That is about 2.7 million Aussies!
5. Indigenous Australians are nearly twice as likely to have Asthma.
Asthma is the second most commonly reported health condition in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
6. Asthma is more common in boys than girls aged 0-14.
Yet is more common in females aged 15 and over.
7. An Asthma attack can be triggered by exposure to an allergen, such as a tree, grass or weeds, pollen, dust mites, cockroaches or animal dander.
Other common triggers are irritants in the air, such as smoke or chemical fumes, and strong odours, such as perfume.
8. Women living in remote areas are more likely to have Asthma than women living in cities.
Isn’t that surprising. It is thought this may be due to differences in smoking rates, access to health services, or other social and environmental factors.
9. During 2017 – 2018, a whopping 38,792 Australians were hospitalised for Asthma related problems.
Approximately 80% of the hospitalisations were preventable.
10. Almost half (44%) of the hospitalisations were children aged between 0-14. That’s a lot of kids heading to hospital!
There are some scary statistics right there about Asthma!
Would you know what to do to help someone during an Asthma attack?
Let’s talk Asthma First Aid (including some hacks).
Many people don’t carry a puffer, let alone a spacer or follow their Asthma Management plan (or even have a plan!)
How can someone help, when you can only get 1- 2 words out per breath?
Using Ventolin without a spacer:
This is okay for a mild attack
Up to 50% of the medication hits the back of the throat and goes into the stomach.
Why should you use a spacer? (A spacer is a large plastic container with a mouthpiece at one end and a hole for the inhaler at the other)
The casualty will get the full dose - in slow and measured breaths.
Spacers are getting smaller, you can even purchase pop up disposable spacers
What if you don’t have a spacer and need to improvise!
Jab the puffer through a hole in the bottom of a disposable cup and you have a spacer! You can do the same with a water bottle.
What do you need to know about Asthma First Aid?
It is critically important that First aiders at workplaces or school staff be trained to manage a medical emergency, such as an Asthma attack. Children may experience an Asthma attack and have never shown a symptom previously! It can be very serious.
Is your team ready?
Let’s look at the steps to Asthma First Aid…..
- Sit the casualty down and try and get them to calm
- Put the ventolin/asmol puffer into the spacer and give it a shake
- Ask the casualty to take 4 breaths
- Then repeat the process 3 more times
- Then wait 4 minutes, if they are not getting relief, call 000 and repeat the process
1 X SHAKE, 4 BREATHS, 4 TIMES, WAIT 4 MINUTES
If you have Asthma and want to do a quick check of how well you are managing it, have a look at the control test on the Asthma Australia website.
Let F.A.S.T. First Aid training help your business with your First Aid Training including first aid for Asthma.
We also deliver HLTAID004 - First Aid in a Childcare Setting
Contact us today to see how we can help.
Facts primarily resourced from: Asthma Australia – the nations’ peak consumer Asthma body.