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04th May 2021

A quarter of asthma patients admit to avoiding A&E, even during an attack

Sarah McKenna Barry

Today is World Asthma Day.

According to new research from The Asthma Society of Ireland and Astrazeneca, 26% of patients with asthma have admitted to avoiding the accident and emergency department in the past year, even during an asthma attack.

The research was shared today, 4 May, which is World Asthma Day.

The study also found that while 90% of people with asthma would accept the Covid-19 vaccine, only 31% of patients have been vaccinated, despite the fact that asthma is an underlying respiratory illness.

According to the research, 71% of people with asthma said that they were concerned about contracting the virus.

Additionally, 50% of respondents said that they have had an asthma attack in the last year.

Speaking on these findings, Sarah O’Connor, the CEO of the Asthma Society said:

“The past year has been a particularly worrying time for those with asthma and their families. As Covid-19 is a respiratory illness, it is vital that people with asthma are in control of their condition. This is why Asthma Awareness Week 2021’s overarching objective is to focus on the importance of good asthma management to prevent asthma deaths.”

O’Connor added that the organisation are “very concerned” about some of the research’s findings.

“Taken as a whole, the research does not paint a picture of Ireland as being an “asthma friendly” or an “asthma safe” country,” she said.

O’Connor also pointed to research that found that 20% of people felt that their asthma was not taken seriously.

“We really need to change these attitudes as Ireland has one of the highest prevalence rates of asthma in the world with 1 in 10 children and 1 in 13 adults living with the condition.”

She continued: “It is essential that patients are in control of their condition and know what to do in an emergency, especially in the current environment. Only 30% of respondents knew the Five Step Rule required to manage an asthma attack. This urgently needs to be addressed in order to prevent further asthma deaths.”

The research comes ahead of the Love Your Lungs Asthma Virtual Conference which takes place tomorrow 5 May. For more information head to