Asthma is a common lung disease that affects millions of adults and children worldwide. It causes narrowing of the airways (breathing tubes) in the lungs that can make it hard to breathe.
This module will enable members of staff to understand asthma and its management. For example: what the symptoms of asthma are, what the common triggers are and what practical steps can be taken to avoid or manage these triggers, and the latest approach to treating asthma. It will help
staff members to encourage the correct use of asthma medication and why keeping an asthma diary can be helpful.
Asthma can usually be treated successfully. This requires patients and care-givers to be well-informed about the disease and its correct treatment. A concern about asthma care is the high use of ‘rescue’ inhalers to treat symptoms of asthma. It is not uncommon for some patients to purchase a ‘rescue’ inhaler every month from the pharmacy. This has been a concern for many years but is now even more under the spotlight since the publication of the latest global asthma guidelines in 2019. The reason for this is because although ‘rescue’ inhalers help to ‘open’ narrowed airways
(breathing tubes), they do not treat the inflammation in the airways which is the cause of the problem. Other medicines are needed to treat the inflammation. Patients who are frequently purchasing ‘rescue’ inhalers to relieve their asthma symptoms should be referred to their doctor so
that their asthma can be assessed and better controlled.
This module discusses asthma and its treatment so that the pharmacy staff can be informed members of the healthcare team and play a valuable role in improving care for patients with asthma.