Asthma care in Schools – did you know that…
Asthma is the most common chronic condition affecting 1 in 11 school aged children and 1 in 12 adults. On average, there are three children with asthma in school classrooms. Children with asthma account for over 25,000 emergency hospital admissions a year in the UK. Unfortunately, added together with adult figures 3 people still die every day due to asthma. That’s an average of 20 young people every year[i]. The long-term management of Asthma is a vital tool in preventing attacks. Part of the management plan is the use of Salbutamol inhalers (Blue). Salbutamol (also know by the brand name Ventolin). Salbutomol is a fast-acting reliever which gives relief to a patient who may be having an ‘asthma attack.’– However they will still need follow on hospital care even if the reliever works.
Despite these figures a recent survey by Asthma UK found that an astonishing 86% of children with asthma did not have access to their asthma inhaler while in school. The reasons for this vary from they forgot it, it ran out on me to I lost it. Shockingly some said they were not allowed to carry their asthma inhaler in school, quoting Health and Safety reasons.
Regardless of the reasons why children with asthma do not carry their inhaler while at school there is s solution. Schools are allowed to have a ‘spare’ inhaler on their premises and they have been since October 2014[ii]. Quite a number of schools are not aware of this. (nor did they know about Anaphylaxis pens, article coming soon). A responsible person for the school can obtain an inhaler from a Pharmacy. (Along with a volumizer, a device to help take the inhaler and prevent cross contamination). The inhaler should be stored with other medical supplies. The volumizer is discarded after use.
There are other colours of inhalers however these are usually steroid based and are taken at set times. They will not relieve the symptoms of an attack.