Cold air can trigger asthma attacks and, in Scotland, we have plenty of cold air circulating. Wrapping up warm really is not just an old wives tale, but a potential life-saver according to Asthma UK.

They are repeating a campaign launched last year that featured celebrities such as Nadiya Hussain, Anton du Beke, Andrew Castle and Karen Pickering and a number of celebrities tweeting their #Scarfie – a selfie with a scarf covering their nose and mouth. This year, many other celebrities are taking up the cause.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How #Scarfies can help prevent asthma attacks this winter

Breathing in cold winter air often causes asthma symptoms, and sometimes asthma attacks. Three-quarters of people with asthma told us this happens to them.

But when you breathe through a scarf, it warms the air up. This helps prevents the cold air irritating your airways and triggering an asthma attack.

All you need to do is wrap a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth to warm up the air before you breathe it in.

Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UK’s Clinical Lead and in-house GP, said:

During the winter people are at greater risk of having a life-threatening asthma attack due to seasonal triggers such as cold air and cold and flu viruses.

In fact, as many as three quarters of people with asthma tell us that cold air can trigger an asthma attack. Wrapping a scarf loosely around your mouth and nose warms up the air before you breathe it in, which can reduce your risk of an asthma attack.

Every 10 seconds someone has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack in the UK. Three people die from an asthma attack every day – and, tragically, two thirds of these deaths are preventable. Chilly January is the deadliest month of the year, with an average of 154 asthma-related deaths* (compared to an average of 73 in August).

Next time you are out and about in the cold air, why not post your #Scarfie to social media to raise awareness of asthma, and do tag @LinkedMagazines as we would love to share your pics.


Asthma In Scotland

Asthma UK is calling for the Scottish Government to finalise the much-awaited respiratory improvement plan, after it was today revealed that the number of asthma related deaths in Scotland are the highest this century.

The data, produced annually by the National Records of Scotland, shows that between January to December 2016 133 asthma deaths were recorded, compared to 122 in 2015.

Every day, the lives of three families are devastated by the death of a loved one to an asthma attack, and tragically two thirds of these deaths are preventable.

In Scotland, 368,000 people (1 in 14) are currently receiving treatment for asthma, of which 72,000 are children.

Only 47.8% of people with asthma in Scotland have a written asthma action plan, despite being four times more likely to end up in hospital without one.

Kay Boycott, Chief Executive at Asthma UK, said:

It is hugely distressing that the number of deaths in Scotland has risen to the highest level this century.

Three years ago 19 recommendations were made as a result of the National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD) report which would help to reduce avoidable risk and deaths. Only one recommendation has been implemented. This is unacceptable. The Scottish Government has been talking about an improvement plan for two years and we are still waiting.

We must take advantage of new asthma digital health solutions to transform the way asthma care is delivered and support self-management.  Digital asthma action plans, smart inhalers, and automated GP alerts are just some of the ways asthma care could be brought up to date and help reduce the risk of potentially fatal asthma attacks.

Primary care consultations cost Scotland £12.6m million each year, but improved asthma health would lead to a reduction in routine GP appointments needed, saving the NHS both time and money.

 

Asthma deaths in Scotland since 2001:

Year Age 0-14 Age 15+ Total
2001 1 100 101
2002 4 127 131
2003 3 95 98
2004 1 93 94
2005 2 98 100
2006 2 80 82
2007 2 110 112
2008 4 99 103
2009 1 92 93
2010 1 90 91
2011 3 91 94
2012 3 86 89
2013 3 102 105
2014 2 70 72
2015 3 119 122
2016 1 132 133
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