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Brisbane haze sparks asthma plan prompt


Matt Woodley


1/06/2023 4:39:43 PM

The smoke enveloping Queensland’s capital has led to a nationwide reminder about the importance of the potentially life-saving plan.

Haze in Brisbane
Conditions in Brisbane this week have reached levels 11.9 times worse than the World Health Organization’s annual air quality guideline value. (Image: AAP)

The RACGP has reminded all Australians with asthma to have a plan in place with their GP, after a smoke haze covered Brisbane and part of south-east Queensland, affecting many people with asthma and other health conditions.
 
At one stage this week, the city was experiencing conditions was 11.9 times worse than the World Health Organization’s annual air quality guideline value, which RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said highlights the importance of carefully managing asthma.
 
‘Make sure to have your asthma plan in place,’ she said.
 
‘The poor air quality in Brisbane and south-east Queensland is leaving many people, particularly those with serious asthma, gasping for air.
 
‘This is another reminder for all patients to have an asthma plan in place, because you can never be sure when another flare-up will occur.’
 
RACGP Vice President and Queensland Chair Dr Bruce Willett backed the calls.
 
‘This must be taken very seriously,’ he said.
 
‘Ask any GP and they will tell you it’s vital for all asthmas to have a Written Asthma Action Plan, or WAAP, to help manage serious asthma flare-ups, including at times like this when the air quality deteriorates.
 
‘Unfortunately, many people with asthma haven’t got a WAAP in place or they are not following their plan when they have an asthma flare-up.
 
‘When this happens, they may well end up in an emergency department in a lot of strife and that is something none of us want.’
 
Dr Willett said there is no better time for patients to see their GP to organise an asthma plan, and reiterated steps that people can take to protect themselves.
 
‘Make sure all your medications, including preventive asthma medications, are up to date and always have your rescue medications such as reliever with you no matter where you are,’ he said.
 
‘Stay inside if the air quality worsens and make sure to check in with family members and friends who may be at risk.
 
‘Together, we can all help people in our life stay safe.’
 
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