The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has reminded all Australians with asthma to have an asthma plan in place with their GP.
It comes following a smoke haze covering Brisbane and part of south-east Queensland effecting many people with asthma and other health conditions. Brisbane’s air quality has been rated as “very poor” and at 1pm yesterday was 11.9 times worse than the World Health Organisation’s annual air quality guideline value.
RACGP President said it was another reminder of the importance of carefully managing asthma.
“Make sure to have your asthma plan in place,” she said.
“The poor air quality in Brisbane and south-east Queensland is leaving many people, particularly those with serious asthma, gasping for air. So, this is another reminder for all patients to have an asthma plan in place, because you can never be sure when another flare up will occur.”
RACGP Vice President and Queensland Chair Dr Bruce Willett backed the calls.
“This must be taken very seriously,” he said.
“Ask any GP and they will tell you it’s vital for all asthmas to have a Written Asthma Action Plan, or WAAP, to help manage serious asthma flare-ups, including at times like this when the air quality deteriorates.
“Unfortunately, many people with asthma haven’t a WAAP in place or they are not following their plan when they have an asthma flare-up. When this happens, they may well end up in an emergency department in a lot of strife and that is something none of us want.
“So the begin of winter is an important time to see your GP to organise an asthma plan to keep you safe and empower you to care for your asthma. For all Queenslanders at risk there are important steps you can take. Make sure all your medications, including preventative asthma medications, are up to date and always have your rescue medications such as reliever with you no matter where you are. Stay inside if the air quality worsens and make sure to check in with family members and friends who may be at risk. Together, we can all help people in our life stay safe.”
RACGP spokespeople are available for comment.
About the RACGP
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) was established in 1958 and is Australia’s peak general practice representative organisation.
The RACGP has more than 45,000 members working in or towards a career in general practice across metropolitan, regional and rural areas of the country. Nine in every 10 GPs are with the RACGP.