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Warning over 'needless' asthma deaths

Poor care is leading some asthma patients to die needlessly, a damning new report has found. Experts from the Royal College of Physicians found at least one "major potential avoidable factor" in 67% of the asthma deaths they investigated.

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Reliever inhalers used 'excessively' before death

Many asthma patients who passed away from their condition were excessively using their reliever inhaler in the months leading up to their deaths, a study has found.

The Royal College of Physicians said the heavy use suggested they were not managing their condition well.

They also found:

  • Medics should have spotted that they were repeatedly prescribing these inhalers and taken action.
  • Meanwhile one in 10 of those who died had been admitted to hospital for an acute asthma attack within four weeks of their death.
  • The report found that 45% of those people who died following an asthma failed to call for help or obtain help during their attack and the vast majority of children died even before they reached hospital.

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