Asthma deaths should be a thing of the past

19th July 2017

While a reduction in asthma deaths is to be welcomed, every death from the condition is one too many.

That’s the message from Education for Health chief executive Monica Fletcher, in response to figures just released showing that asthma deaths in England and Wales have decreased.

The information from the Office of National Statistics showed the total number of deaths recorded with asthma as the underlying cause in 2016 was 1,237, compared to 1,302 the year before.

But although any reduction is welcome, Monica said the number is still too high for a disease that should be controllable.

She said: “These numbers are down on last year, but the decrease isn’t statistically significant. We still see far too many unnecessary deaths, in fact asthma deaths should be something of the past.

“We must keep focussing on preventing as many deaths as possible, the National Review of Asthma Deaths showed us that 46% of deaths could have been avoided if patients had been better managed in the year before they died.

“There is a significant role for practice nurses here, they have a key role to play in educating patients and they must be educated themselves.”

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