Fears over lack of asthma awareness

Lack of knowledge about asthma ‘shocking and dangerous', according to new polls taken to mark World Asthma Day...

A lack of knowledge about asthma among adults poses a serious risk to young people, a poll has suggested.

Almost nine out of 10 people would not feel comfortable helping a child who was suffering an asthma attack – 88% would not know what to do, according to the survey of more than 2,200 people to mark World Asthma Day.

Asthma causes deaths amounting to the equivalent of a large classroom full of children every year, and 1.1 million under-15s suffer from the condition in the UK. A survey among 1,600 teachers across England in February 2009 also found that three-quarters did not feel confident of knowing what to do.

Neil Churchill, chief executive of Asthma UK, which released the polls, said: ‘The complacency that exists about asthma in the UK is shocking and dangerous and cannot continue.

‘Every member of the public needs to know the signs of worsening asthma and what steps to take if someone suffers an asthma attack. Not acting quickly enough can result in needless deaths that shatter lives.’

The charity advises that all asthmatics carry an asthma attack card, which informs the people around them what to do if they suffer an attack.

Would you know what to do it someone was having an asthma attack? How would you react? Let us know your thoughts below…

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