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In a bid to reduce the high number of emergency admissions for patients with asthma, healthcare professionals are being urged to improve their inhaler training technique. The latest figures show there were 80,593 emergency admissions for asthma in a year.1
Several studies show that many asthma patients do not use their inhalers correctly, with up to half demonstrating incorrect technique.2 Additionally a study of healthcare professionals revealed that up to 70 percent were unable to demonstrate correct MDI (metered dose inhaler) technique to their patients.3
Incorrect technique can mean as little as five percent of the drug reaches the lungs,4 which can lead to inadequate asthma control and the belief that the medication is not effective, reducing treatment compliance.5,6 Uncontrolled asthma can result in permanent damage to the lungs and puts people at risk of asthma attacks and emergency admissions to hospital. It is estimated by Asthma UK that up to 75 percent of emergency admissions could be prevented through good asthma management and routine care.1
To address this issue, Napp Pharmaceuticals have partnered with the leading education charity Education for Health to offer inhaler technique training to CCGs and NHS providers who are looking to improve their respiratory services and potentially reduce their asthma emergency admissions.
Napp and Education for Health will work with participating organisations to ensure the training of healthcare professionals is supportive, tailoring each programme to meet the specific needs of the patient population to ensure it has the largest impact within their locality.
Pilot programmes will be launched with community pharmacists in December 2013 with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG and Pharmicus in Gateshead.
A similar inhaler technique programme on the Isle of Wight delivered training to multidisciplinary teams including GPs, respiratory nurses, community matrons and technicians. This programme resulted in a 50 percent reduction of asthma emergency admissions and deaths were reduced by 75 percent.7
Monica Fletcher, CEO of Education for Health said: "This training will enable healthcare professionals to provide the most accurate and up to date inhaler technique to their patients. There is no reason why, with the correct treatment and management, that the majority of people with asthma shouldn't be able to live symptom free. This training will help healthcare professionals to achieve this."
Dr Joe diCapite, inhaler technique project manager at Napp said "We know that several CCGs recognise inhaler technique as an issue for their patients. Napp and Education for Health want to work in partnership with CCGs to create inhaler technique programmes that address the specific training needs of their healthcare professionals, with a shared aim of delivering better patient outcomes."
1. Asthma UK. Report. Asthma UK asks ‘Wish you were here?’ as alarming variations in emergency hospital admissions for asthma are revealed. [Accessed November 2013]. http://www.asthma.org.uk.
2. Cochrane MG, et al. CHEST 2000;117:542-550
3. Baverstock M, et al Thorax 2010;65:A117
4. NHS Bristol. Inhaler Devices Administration Guide 2011 [Accessed November 2013]
5. Haughney J, et al. Respir Med 2010;104:1237-45.
6. Papi A, et al. Eur Respir J 2011;37:982-5.
7. Jerram P. Pharmacy Management 2009;25(3):15-19
Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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Limited, Napp Pharmaceuticals. "Healthcare professionals urged to take a deep breath to reduce emergency hospital admissions for asthma." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 3 Dec. 2013. Web.
11 Mar. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/269528>
Limited, N. (2013, December 3). "Healthcare professionals urged to take a deep breath to reduce emergency hospital admissions for asthma." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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