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New guide for health professionals on helping patients use inhalers correctly

New standards have been published to guide nurses helping asthma patients after statistics showed up to one third use inhalers incorrectly.
asthma inhaler.

New standards have been published to guide nurses helping asthma patients after statistics showed up to one third use inhalers incorrectly.

The UK Inhaler Group (UKIG) decided to develop the standards and competencies following a study by the Asthma UK Centre in Applied Research.

This reveals that the cost of treating asthma in the UK is 1.1 billion, with at least 666 million of this being spent on prescription costs. Much of this money is wasted because patients are not being given proper inhaler instructions.

Respiratory nurse consultant at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust Jane Scullion is lead author of the UKIG document.

She said: You would not give pills to anyone without ensuring they know how to take them, and yet inhalers are still being prescribed without instructions

New standards have been published to guide nurses helping asthma patients after statistics showed up to one third use inhalers incorrectly.

asthma inhaler
People with asthma should be given instructions on using inhalers. Picture: iStock

The UK Inhaler Group (UKIG) decided to develop the standards and competencies following a study by the Asthma UK Centre in Applied Research.

This reveals that the cost of treating asthma in the UK is £1.1 billion, with at least £666 million of this being spent on prescription costs. Much of this money is wasted because patients are not being given proper inhaler instructions.

Respiratory nurse consultant at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust Jane Scullion is lead author of the UKIG document.

She said: ‘You would not give pills to anyone without ensuring they know how to take them, and yet inhalers are still being prescribed without instructions on how best to use them.

Relieving symptoms

‘This is about far more than morbidity, it’s about mortality. Inhalers save lives, and are still the only way to target the lungs directly and relieve asthma symptoms.

‘Metered dose inhalers have been around for 60 years and still they are not being used properly.

‘These standards go back to basics to ensure nurses fulfil their duty of care to patients.’

The UKIG standards can be downloaded here


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