The report of the National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD) in 2014 which collected confidential data into over 200 asthma deaths in the UK conclude there are factors associated with the disease, the management and the patient’s behaviour or psycho-social status which contribute to death. Most deaths occurred before admission to hospital.
In a minority of patients, the fatal attack occurred in a patient with mild or moderately severe background disease.
Many of the deaths occurred in patients who had severe asthma and received inadequate treatment with inhaled corticosteroids or oral corticosteroids and/or inadequate monitoring of their asthma. There was widespread underuse of written management plans. Frequent use of SABA therapy was associated with asthma death. The NRAD report recommended that prescription of more than 12 SABA inhalers a year should prompt urgent review of a patient’s management.