Call for action as asthma deaths rise to highest in a decade

A total of 122 people died from an asthma attack last year, an increase of 50 from 2014, figures from the National Records of Scotland show. Picture: Getty
A total of 122 people died from an asthma attack last year, an increase of 50 from 2014, figures from the National Records of Scotland show. Picture: Getty
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Campaigners have called for “rapid action” after the number of asthma deaths in Scotland rose to the highest level for more than a decade.

A total of 122 people died from an asthma attack last year, an increase of 50 from 2014, figures from the National Records of Scotland show.

Women were more than twice as likely to die from an asthma attack, with 87 female deaths and 35 male in 2015.

Asthma UK said the majority of deaths are preventable with better basic care.

The charity wants to see better use of asthma reviews and inhaler checks made available to patients, and encouraged those with the condition to set up an asthma action plan.

In Scotland, 368,000 
people are currently 
receiving treatment for asthma, including 72,000 children.

Kay Boycott, chief executive of Asthma UK, said: “These figures are alarming, showing the biggest increase in asthma deaths in Scotland in 14 years.

“However the national review of asthma deaths showed two-thirds of asthma deaths in the UK are preventable with better basic care, so it is critical the Scottish Government takes rapid action to ensure effective care is in place to prevent more people dying unnecessarily from asthma attacks in the future.

“Every 10 seconds someone has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack.

“This is why it’s so vital that people with asthma have regular asthma reviews with their GP or asthma nurse, and take their asthma medication as prescribed.

“Anyone with asthma in Scotland who doesn’t yet have an asthma action plan should download one now from the Asthma UK website.

“Only 35 per cent of people with asthma have a written asthma action plan, despite the fact that not having one means you are four times more likely to end up in hospital with an asthma attack.”