Two thirds of deaths from respiratory illness’ in the UK, many of which affect children, could be avoided according to a new report.
Asthma sufferers are dying needlessly because of failings by GPs and health services, a national review has found.
The report, led by the Royal College of Physicians, was the largest study conducted anywhere in the world into the circumstances surrounding asthma fatalities.
The figures were gathered from the investigation of 195 case of people who are thought to have died from Asthma.
It found that two thirds of deaths from the condition — including almost all of those involving children — might have been prevented.
Experts said that these deaths were “a tragic waste of life”.
The UK has one of the highest asthma death rates in Europe— third only behind Estonia and Spain — and the number of fatalities is rising rapidly.
In 2012, 1,250 people died from asthma — a 10 per cent rise in three years. The review suggests more than 800 of these deaths could have been avoided with the right care and support.
Rachel Cooper, was wrongly diagnosed as a child which made treating her severe Asthma much harder, mis-diagnosing has been blamed for many Asthma related deaths.
The report says that one of the main reasons behind the increase in deaths is the lateness or the lack of diagnosis at an early age.
The average age that an initial diagnosis was made was 37, with 70 out of the 195 people dying after being diagnosed after the age of 15.
Professor Ian Hall, of the University of Nottingham said: “An under-treatment of individuals either occurs because doctors do not recognise the appropriate treatment to give to patients or they don’t recognise the severity of the disease.”
Doctor Hall confirms that similar results have been found in previous reviews.
“Until your there and your shown the equipment it is a little bit anxiety provoking.” Hazel Anders, Asthma patient.
Along with lack of help, other reasons for the results have been put down to the patients failure to strictly follow medication plans.
Asthma sufferer Hazel Anders said: “I was anxious because I hadn’t done it before although I did have information about what would happen and what I’d be asked to do.Until your actually there and your shown the equipment it is a little bit anxiety provoking.”