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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:49 am 
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Location: Kingston
COURTNEY Anne Reid, eight years old dies due to asthma.

http://news.scotsman.com/health/Daughte ... 3695496.jp

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:22 am 
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Location: Ottawa
Quote:
Each year around 100 people in Scotland die from an asthma attack. In the UK, someone dies of the disease every six hours.


Wow, that's scary. People don't get the seriousness of asthma and I'm not sure why.

I can think of several people off the top of my head who are poorly controlled and who don't understand their asthma. I have spoken to them, offered suggestions and pointed them towards information. That is really all that I can do as they are adults.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:56 am
Posts: 120
Location: UK
quite a few people with severe asthma carry epi pens.

and its chilling to know that there are no full time allergy clinics in scotland. trying to find a pead immunologist .......well, last I heard ( and I can only hope this has changed) there wasnt one.

So? who is to say that this child might have had severe food allergies , that resulted in her brittle asthma?

and even if she didnt , why not give her oxygen and an epi ?


tragic, heartbreaking, and depressing.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:48 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
I don't understand why asthma is not better controlled. There are so many types of medication on the market now.
Our daughters asthma was not well controlled until we looked hard at our total picture and realized how our environment was working against us.
(see an excerpt of the story in the reccent edition of Allergic Living)
http://www.allergicliving.com/features.asp?copy_id=145
She is much improved since we have moved.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:06 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
_Susan_ wrote:
I don't understand why asthma is not better controlled. There are so many types of medication on the market now.


Susan, from my experience, I think there are a lot of factors - cost of medication (not everyone has insurance), people being wary of over-medicating or even just regularly medicating their kids, lack of knowledge and information on the part of many people, including some (many??) doctors... and probably a number of other things. I think also there is a lot of left-over "understanding" of asthma from years ago where people were taught that you just had to live with it, be less physical, etc.. That is no longer the case, but "urban knowledge" is a hard thing to change. (Kind of like trying to turn an ocean liner on on a dime, if that makes sense.)

Two years ago, I ran into a mother who thought it was perfectly normal for her 6-year-old to just "not be able to do sports" because of his asthma. "It shouldn't be like that," I told her - but then, I wasn't able to march her to the right doctor and get her the medication and help she needed, was I? All I could do was say what I said and hope for the best. What I should do is carry around the business card for our Certified Asthma Educator (see below)... Hmm.

We have been very fortunate to have an allergist who is quite knowledgeable about asthma, and also to get the help of a Certified Asthma Educator (CAE - and this help is free, by the way, from The Lung Association). But even then, we were so focussed on my youngest's allergies that we didn't clue in that his night-time waking (for 2 years) was caused by his asthma. I was pretty shocked and unimpressed with myself to realize that my son's asthma was not well-controlled, as I had been quite proud of myself for the fact that we never went to the hospital. :(

Anyway, it is all a bit depressing. In some parts of the world, there are people and organizations out there - like well-informed doctors and CAEs and The Lung Association - who are able to help. But the patients and their families have to get to them.

And obviously in some countries and even regions of countries (like Canada), the help and expertise is not there, or it's difficult to access. And so people suffer and even die.

Bleah.

K.

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Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:56 am
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Location: UK
asthma , like many allergic diseases, has many triggers, and keeping control for many is an ongoing battle.
the UK does have an asthma charity to ask for advice, and like canada , medical help is free in scotland.
all meds are free for the elderly and children, and young adults in full time education.
parental money and medical insurance is not a problem.
If on low income and benifits, you can claim travel expensies to and from the hospital.

Social/housing issues may contribute to asthma.

The fault may lie with the local hospital and their poor treatement of this childs case.

I certainly would be asking questions of the local health authority, why wasnt she given oxygen at home ?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:19 pm 
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Location: Toronto
Putting this case per se aside for the moment, as everyone is pointing out, there is still far too much uncontrolled asthma out there. And experts consider this a major reason why there are still so many fatal asthma attacks that could have been prevented.

One thing I find interesting (perplexing?) in following the risks involved in anaphylaxis and asthma, is this: why do we focus more on anaphylaxis risks than asthma risks? (On this forum, it may be because many aren't dealing with asthma). But I mean more generally, in society, why do you think this is the case?

Is it because food is such a social thing and it's so tied up in how we and our children live our lives (e.g. snacks at school)? Is the lesser emphasis on asthma because environmental allergens seem more banal, less tied up in how we live our lives?

Any thoughts on this? I'm of course not denigrating the risks of anaphylaxis, I'm just curious about what seems in many families to be under-preparation to cope with asthma in kids, whereas families with food allergies are often really prepared.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:19 pm 
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Location: UK
thats simple, we focus on the food allergy as its an added risk with the asthma.

others who dont deal with food allergy , see asthma as part of the norm now. so many children have asthma and go to schools with inhalers that it barely raises and eyebrow.

parents and teachers forget that asthma is life threatening.

sarah


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:12 pm 
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I like to think that programs like this one Breathe Easy/ Play Hard helps get the message out there that Asthma can be controlled.
We need to advocate for our children, demand better control over the symptoms and keep pushing until we get the results we need. Healthy, active children.
Granted some of us are more pushy than others, have the time and resources and have drug plans that cover the necessary medications.
Where there are gaps in the system, we need to build bridges.
Breathing is well a basic necessity of life. I know how frustrating it is to watch your child struggle to breathe.

http://www.breatheeasyplayhard.com/g/ex ... ma/28.html
According to Janis Schaeffer,
Quote:
...I have been a Pediatric Pulmonologist (aka children's lung specialist) in New York for the past 20 years. Over that period of time, I have treated thousands of children and teens with asthma, and the results have been tremendously rewarding. The incidence of asthma has been steadily increasing and currently affects at least 1 in 10 children in the U.S. today.
What has been frustrating, however, has been that, for many of these kids, it has taken months or even years--laced with multiple pediatrician visits, many lost school days and difficulty with normal activities including gym and sports--for them to eventually seek a pulmonary evaluation. Once evaluated, diagnosed, and properly treated, a return to physical activity and a marked improvement in the quality of life is the rule rather than the exception. And, the improvement can be dramatic! Why is diagnosis and early treatment of asthma so important? Inadequate recognition and treatment deprives kids of exercise and its many long-term health and psychological benefits. It can also lead to a serious asthma episode or sudden collapse on the field or court. And, more and more studies show that without adequate and early asthma treatment, the airways can become permanently "remodeled" or scarred.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:28 pm 
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Location: Toronto
See but this is what I mean, months or years to see a pulmonary specialist.

Susan I know you had to seek out a specialist to get your daughter evaluated, and I just have a hard time contemplating that a parent wouldn't do that. Maybe if it's coughing at night and the symptoms aren't as obvious as wheezing....

But if a child is unable to participate in sports because of breathing problems, wouldn't you think parents would get that child off to a specialist? And yet many don't.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:36 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
I think that people see asthma as the boy in the wheelchair on Malcolm in the Middle. The boy who had to stop and catch his breath several times when speaking a sentence (oh, yeah, that's really funny :roll: ). People seem to accept that asthma means you have trouble breathing and that's just the way it is.

I know of 2 people at my work with asthma who don't carry their puffers. (I work in health care!)How do they expect to get relief if they don't have it on them? Few people with FA's would not carry their prescribed Epi-Pen.

I honestly don't understand.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:21 pm 
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Location: Toronto
Well, ditto. I don't get it either.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
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Location: saskatchewan, canada
Personally, I know many people with asthmatic kids who rely on meds and ignore the environment the kids are living in. Mold in the house, smokers IN THE HOUSE, pets in the house (when cats and dogs are known triggers), etc. etc. even when their doctors have told them to clean up the environment.

Seriously, someone with an asthmatic baby was telling me she just can't part with her "babies" (cats) even though her baby (her human one) suffers with asthma triggered by the cats. :roll:

I'm not implying that the case in the news story, just my own personal experience.

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DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:44 am 
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Location: Ottawa
I don't think the message is out there that asthma kills.
According to the Asthma Society of Canada,
Quote:
Every year, about 500 Canadians die from asthma. Most of these deaths, however, could have been prevented with proper education and management.

http://www.asthma.ca/adults/

(click on either English or French versions of State of the Asthma Nation: The National Case Studies Bulletin)

According to a recent survey by the same group 83% of asthma patients responded that they had not had a conversation with their physician about a personal asthma action plan. Although many had questions, only 34% discussed the pros and cons of taking inhaled corticosteroids (ICS).
Lack of understanding means not knowing when to use it or how and can ultimately result in giving up on a drug that takes some time to see the benefits of. I know I can name several people of the top of my head who have done just that.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:06 am 
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Location: Toronto
I thought Claire Gagné's article this past Spring for AL was very good on the topic of how "out of control" things are:

Quote:
However, this ideal is far from reality. Instead, the majority of Canadian asthmatics are living half-lives. They aren’t exercising, which can lead to a host of other health problems, like obesity, diabetes and heart disease. They are missing school and work, and giving up activities they enjoy. They see their doctors, but these visits are often marked by poor communiction. They end up in the hospital after days of worsening symptoms. They are Canada’s “walking wounded,” and they’re slipping through the cracks of our health-care system. Amazingly, most of them don’t even realize they have a problem.

The statistics show just how bad it is. Six years ago, the Asthma Society of Canada announced that 57 per cent of Canadians with asthma did not have their disease under control. The society’s latest research, released in September 2006, shows no sign of improvement; more than half of asthmatics are still living with symptoms above what are considered acceptable levels. Earlier findings showed 10 per cent of them had landed in the emergency room at least once in the previous year because of an asthma attack, and 12 per cent reported missing school or work.


We've got an excerpt of it up here: http://www.allergicliving.com/features.asp?copy_id=92

Given this discussion, I'm now going to put the whole thing up (give me till next week), so you can use it as resource if you need it. In better news, I posted elsewhere that the Lung Assn. is launching a campaign to get people to stop smoking in their cars with kids. Just like the baby/cats, how important is that!

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