Today is World Asthma Day and coincides with The Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) report entitledWhy Asthma Kills. The report makes a series of recommendations to overcome what the RCP describes as complacency surrounding asthma care by improving understanding and clinical care for sufferers of this disease.

The RCP report follows the National Review of Asthma Deaths, a study led by the RCP, which reviewed the facts surrounding the 1,200 deaths from asthma between February 2012 to January 2013. This figure has remained stubbornly high for many years even though it is widely acknowledged that there are preventable factors in 90% of deaths from asthma.

The RCP highlights the key messages for clinicians and patients/carers to end deficiencies in routine asthma care. Fundamentally, there needs to be better education for all healthcare professionals, with dedicated specialists and better mechanisms for monitoring asthma control. Training is also recommended for patients and carers to improve their understanding of the risks of the disease, to recognise the warning signs of poor control and to know how to handle an asthma attack. The RCP recommends that every asthma patient should have a personalised plan addressing these core concerns.