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Children and young people’s asthma fact sheet

24th May 2022

This asthma fact sheet has been produced by the NHS England (London region) children and young people’s asthma programme.

We do not have to wait for new medicines or a cure for asthma: we need to educate and support everyone treating or supporting children and young with asthma to use these tools and work together to achieve improved outcomes. Find information and facts which highlight the risks and outcomes of poorly managed asthma below.

Asthma fact sheet

  • Asthma is the most common long-term medical condition affecting children and young people
  • 1 in 11 are affected by the condition, which is around 3 in every London classroom. Many have badly managed asthma, with over 20,000 admitted to hospital every year in England. Over 4% of these have such a severe episode that they are admitted to intensive care
  • Children die in London because of asthma every year. 90% of asthma deaths are preventable: these children should have gone on to lead full and productive lives (National review of asthma deaths, 2014)
  • London has a higher rate of illness and death in children and young people because of asthma compared to other European countries
  • Asthma is one of the top three causes of emergency admission to hospital (4,000 in London each year). 75% of these admissions would be avoidable through the implementation of simple interventions such as having a regular asthma review by an appropriately trained clinician, knowing how to use your inhaler correctly, having a written asthma action plan and knowing about the potential impact of air pollution
  • Nearly half of children admitted to hospital have had an asthma attack in the previous year and 30% have had daytime symptoms in the previous week. But only a fraction have a personalised asthma management plan on how their asthma should be managed
  • Nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and other forms of air pollution are known triggers for asthma and poor health more widely, particularly in children and young people
  • In 2018 London Ambulance Services (LAS) attended 2,737 children for asthma and 9,855 children for breathlessness
  • In 2019/20 there were 154 children admitted into London intensive care units who had a primary diagnosis of asthma (compared to 170 in 2016/17). The average length of stay was 3 days
  • While COVID-19 is not thought to be a particular risk for children and young people with asthma, good asthma control and avoidance of unnecessary ED attendances is more important than ever

 

Learn more about the London region children and young people’s asthma programme.

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