Asthma deaths in NI 'could have been prevented'

Figures show that there were 40 asthma deaths in Northern Ireland in the past year

THE mother of a young Co Armagh man who died from an asthma attack says it is "distressing to think that still too many people are still dying" from the condition.

Donna Green's son Tiernan (20) was one of 40 people who died from asthma in Northern Ireland over the past year.

She said many asthma sufferers are still "not getting the basic care that could prevent" deaths.

In the last six years, there have been 213 asthma related deaths in the north, with 182,000 people currently receiving asthma treatment, including 36,000 children.

Ms Green said: "Tiernan had been diagnosed with asthma from a young age, but never really had any problems with his asthma until two years ago when he was hospitalised following a terrifying asthma attack.

"It breaks our hearts to think our precious son would still be alive if he had attended his check-up appointments and taken his preventer medicines correctly.

"I don't want other families to go through the pain we have faced and that's why I'm urging anyone with asthma, or parents of children with asthma, to speak to their GP to make sure they have a correct care plan in place."

Kay Boycott from Asthma UK said while the number of asthma deaths had fallen this year, many "could have been prevented".

"Two thirds of people who die from an asthma attack could have survived if they had had better basic care," she said.

"This includes getting a written asthma action plan which explains how to manage their asthma on a day-to-day basis and what to do if their condition gets worse.

"They should also have their asthma reviewed every year to ensure they are on the right medication and if they're taking them properly."

Ms Boycott has called for the implementation of recommendations, made in a National Review of Asthma Deaths in 2014, to help reduce risks and deaths from asthma, including appointing clinical asthma leads in hospitals and doctors surgeries.

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