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Health Sciences & Medicine
Pages 36 (9036 words)
Asthma is a disease of increasing magnitude in the UK (LAIA 2002) where the incidence is now among the highest in the world. There is little evidence that this will change in the future (ISAAC 2005). There has been an increase in both the prevalence and incidence of asthma and, although this could in part be attributed to improved diagnostic skills (European Community Respiratory Health Survey 2003), this is not the sole reason for the increase (ISAAC 2005).
British Heart Foundation (2003) statistics show that mortality from coronary heart disease is falling significantly, and, although the number of asthma deaths is small by comparison, the static nature of asthma mortality rates is alarming especially because asthma deaths are probably more preventable than those from direct cardiac causes are.
Asthma is defined as narrowing of the airways, which is reversible either spontaneously or because of treatment. The well-known symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, wheeze and cough which may develop suddenly, in an acute attack, or over a period. Nurses need to be aware that adult people with asthma who experience breathlessness associated with activities of daily living, such as putting out washing or walking up stairs, may discount these symptoms and put them down to old age and lack of fitness, when in fact it may be their asthma becoming increasingly active and uncontrolled.
The Stages of an Acute Attack are very terrible for the affected patients. These symptoms often start out similar to a usual attack; coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and recession (drawing in the flesh between the ribs and sternum). ...
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