Journal Mobile

JG Douglas
Journal Issue: 
Volume 37: Issue 3: 2007




Asthma is among the most common of all chronic disorders at all ages. Despite increased understanding of cell biology and access to numerous drugs and inhaler, asthma  is  not  under  control.   One  in  six  people  requiring  emergency treatment for asthma will require emergency treatment again within two weeks and, sadly, in the UK one person dies of asthma every seven hours. Modern management of asthma is supported by the rigorously evidence-based BTS/SIGN  guidelines  which  are  now  are  updated  annually.  There  is  increasing emphasis on starting inhaled steroid for milder cases and using lower doses, the usual starting adult dose is now 400 ug BDP or equivalent.  Education using a written  personalised  Asthma  Action  Plan  is  central  to  good  management  and should be reinforced at every opportunity.  For adults and older children with more  troublesome  symptoms  a  LABA  is  the  most  effective  add-on  therapy. Those not controlled at Step 3 should be considered for referral to a specialist hospital clinic.