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Acute asthma attacks in the school setting: Diagnosis and prevention

Beverley Bostock-Cox explains what school nurses can do to ensure the safety of pupils with asthma

School nurses should be able to assess and manage acute asthma if the situation arises, in line with the Nursing and Midwifery Code of Conduct.1 This code advises nurses that to practise in line with their code, they should:

According to Asthma UK,2 around 10% of children in the United Kingdom have asthma, meaning that in an average classroom there will be around three children who are being treated for asthma. Furthermore, every hour, three children in the UK will be admitted to hospital with an asthma attack. In 2016, 13 children aged 14 and under died from an asthma attack, although this was an improvement on previous years as 27 children died in 2012 and 24 died in 2013. The highest number of asthma deaths in this age group was recorded in 2004, when 38 children age 14 and under died from asthma. Conversely, deaths in people aged 15 and over have increased in recent years., and the UK statistics are some of the worst worldwide.2

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