10 Things You Need To Know About Asthma In Australia

This week is Asthma Week 2016 (1-7 September)

There is a good chance that you, or somebody you care about, is affected by Asthma.

According to the 2014 Global Asthma Report, Australia has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world. Understanding the problem and knowing what to do is important, and could save someone’s life.

So here are 10 things you need to know about asthma in Australia.
Afterall, life wasn’t meant to be wheezy.

1.
What is Asthma?

Asthma is a long-term lung condition characterised by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing. The severity and frequency varies from person to person. Asthma affects all age groups, but often starts in childhood.

Asthma symptoms include:

Shortness of Breath

Wheezing

Dry Cough

Chest Pain or Tightness

Difficulty Breathing

2.
1 in 10 Australians have Asthma

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics,  over 10% of Australians have Asthma. That’s a whopping 2.5 million people.

Australians have asthma

Sufferers are females

Sufferers are male

3.
Asthma costs Australians $1.2 billion a year

The Hidden Cost of Asthma report in 2015 estimates Asthma directly costs the health system $1.2 billion in prescription pharmaceuticals, hospitalisations and out of hospital expenditures. When taking into account the other costs of asthma such as productivity costs, deadweight losses and the total burden of disesases, the estimate balloons to almost $28 billion!

Cost to healthcare system

Productivity losses

Per person with asthma

4.
Over 37,000 hospitalisations due to asthma

AIHW reported there were 37,684 hospitalisations in 2013-14 where asthma was the principal diagnosis. That’s a hospitalisation rate of 165 per 100,000 population. Children aged 0-14 had a significantly higher hospitalisation rate at 464 per 100,000 population.

Hospitalisations from asthma

Rate of hospitalisations

Rate children 0-14 hospitalised

5.
419 Asthma-related Deaths (most preventable)

419 Australian’s died from Asthma in 2014, up from 394 in 2012. According to Asthma Australia Chief Executive Mark Brooke, most of these deaths were avoidable. “There is evidence being presented that about 60% of deaths would have been preventable if we had followed clinical guidelines…that’s an alarming statistic.”

6.
Asthma kills more Women than Men

In 2014, 277 woman and 142 men died from Asthma according to the National Asthma Council Australia. Women over 75 were three times more likely to die from asthma compared to men of the same age.

Women died from asthma

Men died from asthma

7.
Be Prepared To Better Manage Asthma

What you can do to better manage asthma:

Don’t ignore breathing problems

See doctor for regular check-ups

Quit smoking

Carry asthma medicine at all times

Carry & share your Asthma Action Plan

8.
Every Asthma Sufferer Needs an Action Plan

Asthma cannot be cured, that’s why its so important to have an Asthma Action Plan. Your Asthma Action Plan is a set of instructions written with your doctor to help you stay in control of your asthma. Unfortunately, less than half of children with asthma have an Asthma Action Plan according to Asthma Australia. Adults are even less prepared with 4 out of 5 asthma sufferers missing an Asthma Action Plan.

Children with Asthma Action Plan

People with Asthma Action Plan

People need Asthma Action Plan

9.
What is in an Asthma Action Plan

If you need an Asthma Action Plan, then today is the perfect day to get one.
Simply go to the Asthma Australia website and find a plan that suits you.

Your Asthma Action Plan outlines:

  • What medication to take

  • How to tell if your asthma is getting worse

  • What you should do if your symptoms are getting worse

  • What to do if you have an asthma attack

10.
What is your Asthma Score?

Is your asthma under control? If you are 12 years of age or older, you can find out by taking Asthma Australia’s Asthma Control Test.

Share your asthma plan with family and friends

The problem with most Asthma Action Plans is too few people have them, and when they do the plans are filed away and not easily accessible when needed in an emergency. By using the CareMonkey app people with asthma can share everything a carer needs to know to help manage their asthma and avoid asthma attacks. This includes details about their symptoms, triggers and how to administer their medication. You can sign up to CareMonkey , and share your profile with your family and friends for free.

1. Sign up for a free CareMonkey account here:
https://groups.caremonkey.com/users/sign_up

2. Create a care profile for the person with asthma (it’s easy!)

3. Scan their asthma plan and attach it to the care profile

4. Share the care profile with people you trust so they can view it on their smartphone, tablet or computer

Learn more about asthma

About CareMonkey

CareMonkey is an award-winning health and safety system that automatically keeps medical and emergency details up to date for any organisation with a duty of care. It makes these important details instantly available to authorised carers on their mobile devices in an emergency…so they know who to call, what to do, or what to tell an ambulance paramedic. CareMonkey automates the permission and consent form process too and can collect any other custom information. It’s used by schools, universities, in sport, in HR, scouts, church and youth groups, the disability sector and camps.