Fletcher, M, van der Molen, T, Lenney, W, Boucot, I, Aggarwal, B and Pizzichini, E (2022) Primary Care Management of Asthma Exacerbations or Attacks: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Advances in Therapy. ISSN 0741-238X

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a renewed focus on appropriate management of chronic respiratory conditions with a heightened awareness of respiratory symptoms and the requirement for differential diagnosis between an asthma attack and COVID-19 infection. Despite early concerns in the pandemic, most studies suggest that well-managed asthma is not a risk factor for more severe COVID-related outcomes, and that asthma may even have a protective effect. Advice on the treatment of asthma and asthma attacks has remained unchanged. This article describes some challenges faced in primary care asthma management in adults and in teenagers, particularly their relevance during a pandemic, and provides practical advice on asthma attack recognition, classification, treatment and continuity of care. Acute attacks, characterised by increased symptoms and reduced lung function, are often referred to as exacerbations of asthma by doctors and nurses but are usually described by patients as asthma attacks. They carry a significant and underestimated morbidity and mortality burden. Many patients experiencing an asthma attack are assessed in primary care for treatment and continuing management. This may require remote assessment by telephone and home monitoring devices, where available, during a pandemic. Differentiation between an asthma attack and a COVID-19 infection requires a structured clinical assessment, taking account of previous medical and family history. Early separation into mild, moderate, severe or life-threatening attacks is helpful for continuing good management. Most attacks can be managed in primary care but when severe or unresponsive to initial treatment, the patient should be appropriately managed until transfer to an acute care facility can be arranged. Good quality care is important to prevent further attacks and must include a follow-up appointment in primary care, proactive regular dosing with daily controller therapy and an understanding of a patient’s beliefs and perceptions about asthma to maximise future self-management.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits any non-commercial use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R735 Medical education. Medical schools. Research
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2022 12:22
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2022 12:22
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/10767

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