Tuesday, May 3, 2011

World Asthma day

World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world.  The theme of World Asthma Day 2011 will be "You Can Control Your Asthma." GINA will also launch the next phase in its campaign to reduce asthma hospitalizations by 50% in 5 years. 

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic (lifetime) inflammatory disease of the airways. 

The signs and symptoms are:
·       Wheezing
·       Panting
·       Shortness of Breath
·       Coughing
·       Tightness in Chest

·       Genetic
·       Environmental

·       Bronchodialators
·       Inhalers
·       Corticosteroids

Prevention of Attacks

Avoid Irritants such as:
·       Dust
·       Pet dander
·       Smoke
·       Mold
·       Perfumes
·       Extreme heat

As of 2010, 300 million people were affected worldwide. In 2009 asthma caused 250,000 deaths globally.  With proper control, the prognosis is usually good.

Asthma is a very serious condition.  My family doctor was diagnosed with Asthma at an early age.  He had it under control.  His wife was a nurse, and was also familiar with the care necessary to prevent attacks, and the medications used to control them.  However, even their skills, knowledge and medications were not enough to prevent his death from a severe attack.    That is why it was very discouraging to hear this quote from President Obama.

OBAMA:  "Everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma, they end up taking up a hospital bed, it costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early and they got some treatment, and a, a breathalyzer, or inhalator, not a breathalyzer. (Crowd laughing) I haven't had much sleep in the last 48 hours."

Everyone, especially if you have family members and friends with Asthma, needs to be aware of the causes and treatments of Asthma and what emergency measures to take in the event a severe attack takes place.

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