KEMH Hosts World Asthma Day Fair

The Goal is Control

Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) and Open Airways invite the public to a World Asthma Day Fair on Tuesday, May 5th from 8:30am to 2:30pm in the hospital lobby. Asthma and allergy education and free spacer devices will be provided to anyone suffering with asthma or other breathing difficulties.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by recurrent breathing problems and symptoms such as
breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness and coughing.

“Asthma affects approximately 12% of our community,” explains Debbie Barboza, Asthma Nurse Educator for the Asthma Education Centre at KEMH. “Thousands of people suffer unnecessarily every day because of poorly controlled asthma. Yet people can control their disease and minimize incidents with proper diagnoses, education and treatment.”

While hospital admissions from asthma-related incidents are decreasing, the Emergency Department at KEMH reported handling over 1500 cases of asthma last year, half of whom were children.

“When asthma is not under control, the airways become overly sensitive to environmental changes, and an asthma attack can happen easily,” says Ms. Barboza. “Although asthma cannot be cured, it can be effectively treated. Research shows that with proper treatment, nearly all asthma patients can achieve and maintain good asthma control, enabling them to participate in school, work and other normal activities.”

Although the prevalence of asthma is increasing in most countries, hospital admissions in Bermuda have decreased since 1995 because of extensive education campaigns.

“We know education has had a positive impact in our community,” said Ms. Barboza. “World Asthma Day is a great opportunity to spread the word that with proper information, patients can gain control over their disease.”

The Asthma Education Centre teaches clients how to achieve the best results with the least amount of medication. “Our goal is developing self-management skills,” concludes Ms. Barboza. “Patients who become informed decision-makers play an important role in reducing asthma-related incidents.”

The Asthma Education Centre handles 300 patient visits annually and provides clients with information on recognizing and understanding warning signals and asthma triggers, as well as how to avoid them.

Patients are taught how to effectively take inhaled medications with minimal side effects and how to use a spacer.

An Action Plan, or personal guideline for controlling asthma, teaches clients to evaluate their condition through breathing measurements or symptoms.

Signs that asthma is not being well-controlled:
• Coughing, wheezing or a tight chest because of asthma more than twice a week
• Being awaken at night due to coughing, wheezing or a tight chest more than twice a month
• Limiting activities because of asthma more than twice a month
• Missing time from work or school because of asthma in the last 3 months
• Using a rescue /reliever (usually blue) inhaler more than twice a week

The Asthma Education Centre is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, by appointment only. For further inquiries or to book an appointment call Debbie Barboza, Asthma Nurse Educator at 239-2055 Ext. 1652 or send an email to
asthmacentre@bermudahospitals.bm

Attachment 1: 190_File_5.pdf

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