Inhaler ignorance poses travel risk

08 October 2012 09:02

Many people with asthma are unable to use their inhaler correctly, making a good travel insurance policy even more important for sufferers

Many people with asthma are unable to use their inhaler correctly, making a good travel insurance policy even more important for sufferers

Asthma sufferers should make sure they have adequate medical travel insurance, particularly as it has emerged many are unable to use their inhalers properly. Travelling with asthma makes taking out a good medical travel insurance policy an essential part of holiday preparations as those with a pre-existing health problem are more likely to encounter problems and need treatment while abroad.

And the risk for those with asthma may be even higher than they think as an article in the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin claims more than half of people who have been prescribed inhalers are unable to use them effectively. This could mean that in many cases the necessary drug is not making its way to the lungs as even a properly-used inhaler will administer only just over a third of the medication.

The report's authors claim part of the problem is that medical professionals are often ignorant about correct inhaler techniques so they are unable to give patients the right advice. In one study nine out of 10 health workers failed when asked to show all the steps in administering a metered dose inhaler. The article concludes that the £900 million annual cost of filling 45 million inhaler prescriptions in England will only be well spent when NHS staff can make sure patients are using them correctly.

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