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Freeze threat to asthma

Friday January 8th, 2010

People with asthma have been urged to take extra precautions against the freezing weather gripping the northern hemisphere.

As many as 75 per cent of people with the condition say the cold makes their condition worse.

Delia Balan, a nurse specialist with Asthma UK, said sufferers should wrap a scarf around their faces.

They should take puffs from their reliever inhaler before going outside in cold air - or before exercising in cold weather.

They should also keep the blue inhaler with them at all times.

She said: "Having immediate access to your inhaler could help to keep you out of hospital or even save your life."

* GPs and practice staff are "going the extra mile" in the snow to keep services running, a senior doctor said yesterday.

Some doctors have slept overnight in their surgeries to avoid being cut off.

Both GPs and their staff have walked miles in snow and ice, according to Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA GP committee.

Other practices have had to undertake deliveries to pathology laboratories - because delivery services have stopped.

While practices in towns and villages faced the toughest challenges, hospitals maintained they were coping with the triple threat of extra accidents and illnesses.

A number of hospitals around Britain were contacted yesterday and all said they did not have significant problems - in spite of increased numbers of accidents.

Dr Buckman said there were probably "countless other examples" of practice staff making heroic efforts to keep services going.

He said: "GPs and their staff having been going the extra mile, literally in some cases, to ensure their surgeries, and services, remain open for their patients and I'm proud they're so dedicated to providing a good service."

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | General Health | NHS | UK News

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