A person can survive for weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without air. The more than 2 million Australians who have asthma can quickly find themselves struggling to breathe. During National Asthma Week (1-7 September), Asthma Australia and the RFDS are urging people with asthma to take it seriously.
If you have asthma and you wake up coughing, wheezing or breathless, struggle to keep up with normal activity, and/or use your blue reliever puffer more than three times a week, its time to see your doctor. If you don’t think you have asthma but get breathless or wheezy, its time to ask your doctor if it could be asthma.
Unfortunately many people don’t recognise asthma symptoms or realise how serious asthma can be. Tragically, at least one person dies from asthma every day in Australia.
What is the RFDS doing to help?
Asthma affects people in country communities just as much as those in urban areas, so our RFDS doctors and children’s health nurses frequently treat remote patients with asthma. Flying Doctor GPs and other health professionals hold regular clinics in remote locations to help people address lifestyle issues and treat the symptoms of asthma.
Our doctors will refer patients to specialists where required, and, in the rarer cases where people with asthma require emergency evacuation, the RFDS will transfer patients to medical care.
How can I find out more?
Visit our website to find further information on asthma and to download the Asthma Australia factsheets on things to ask your doctor, asthma basic facts and asthma first aid.
For more information about National Asthma Week, visit Asthma Australia’s website or freecall 1800 645 130.