Hundreds of asthma deaths in Scotland could have been prevented, says Asthma UK

Charity says while fewer people died from asthma last year, 126 families still lost a loved one to an asthma attack. Better basic care is vital and could have saved hundreds of lives in the last six years

Figures released today (Wednesday 27 June 2018) by the National Records of Scotland show that 126 people in Scotland died from an asthma attack in 2017.

The figures show:

  • 126 people died from asthma in Scotland in 2017. This compares to 133 in 2016
  • Asthma deaths in Scotland for 2017 exceeded the five-year average for Scotland of 111

Responding to the news, Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK, said:

“It is unacceptable that in the last six years, 647 people have died from asthma attacks in Scotland. While fewer people have died from an asthma attack this year compared to last, that is still 126 families who have been devastated by the loss of a loved one. In many cases their deaths could have been prevented, as research shows two thirds of people who die from an asthma attack could have survived if they had had better basic care.*

“Everyone with asthma should get basic care from their GP or asthma nurse which should include a yearly review to make sure they are on the right medicines and that they’re taking them properly and a written asthma action plan, which explains how they should manage asthma on a day-to-day basis.

“Worryingly, more than half of people with asthma in Scotland said they are not receiving this basic care.** We’re urging healthcare professionals to ensure they are giving patients this care and calling on patients to proactively manage their asthma and attend their appointments to prevent life-threatening asthma attacks. For more information visit www.asthma.org.uk/manage.”

For further information, please contact:

Hannah Jowett, Media Officer, Asthma UK

07951 721393

hjowett@asthma.org.uk

Notes to editors

* Royal College of Physicians, Why Asthma Still Kills: The National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD), May 2014, https://www.asthma.org.uk/globalassets/campaigns/nrad-full-report.pdf

**Falling Through the Gaps: Why more people need basic asthma care included a survey of 7,611 people with asthma across the UK. The survey included 666 people with asthma in Scotland, of which 43.2% said they did not receive basic care

NB The Scottish asthma death stats are the first to be released this year, so cannot be compared to those in England and Wales. England and Wales death stats from 2001-2016 can be found at https://www.asthma.org.uk/about/media/facts-and-statistics/

Asthma deaths in Scotland since 2001

 

Year

Total deaths

2001

101

2002

131

2003

98

2004

94

2005

100

2006

82

2007

112

2008

103

2009

93

2010

91

2011

94

2012

89

2013

105

2014

72

2015

122

2016

133

2017

126