Figures released from the 2014 National Records of Scotland show that 122 people died from an asthma attack the previous year. This is an increase of 50 more deaths compared to 2013, two-thirds of which could have been prevented with better basic care, according to Asthma UK.
Bedfont Scientific, who manufacture the NObreath® Fractional exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) device, recommended by NICE , has been working with GP’s to implement the draft NICE asthma guidance which recommends FeNO testing in asthma management as part of a pilot hoping to improve basic asthma care and save future lives.
With this latest development in asthma figures sparking increasing concerns, especially following statistics released earlier this year from Asthma UK which found that over 120,000 asthma sufferers in the UK are at risk from wrongly prescribed medication and NICE’s findings that 30% of people with asthma are suspected to have been misdiagnosed, Bedfont Scientific are campaigning vigorously to raise awareness of FeNO measuring and it’s benefits.
Nitric Oxide is naturally produced by the lungs to combat airway inflammation, therefore FeNO levels are higher in people with asthma and, by measuring these levels during diagnosis and management of the disease, it can improve basic asthma care. Using FeNO measurements to evaluate airway inflammation in asthma represent a significant advance in respiratory medicine, but this had been an expensive test to deliver in everyday practice, until now with the NObreath®.
Breath analysis with the NObreath® FeNO monitor is quick, simple and non-invasive, providing a better procedure for both the GP and the patient. By using the NObreath® FeNO monitor in basic asthma care, the GP will be able to not only determine the type of asthma (allergic or non-allergic) allowing the correct medication to be prescribed but also differentiate between asthma and other respiratory diseases such as COPD and ACOS through a process of elimination. Furthermore, the NObreath® shows patient adherence to prescription medicine allowing GP’s to adjust and prescribe the level of medication as necessary.
Jason Smith, General Manager at Bedfont Scientific Ltd.