Everyone with asthma should have an asthma action plan written by their GP or practice nurse. This plan will help a person with asthma recognise when their symptoms are becoming worse and identify the medicine, or action, they need to take in that scenario.
Following the instructions provided in an asthma action plan can reduce the risk – or intensity – of an asthma flare-up.
The plan should include the following information:
- a list of medicines (with doses) that the person with asthma is taking when they are feeling well
- a list of signs that identify if a person with asthma is experiencing a flare-up
- a list of medicines (with doses) to take during a flare-up
- clear information on when a person with asthma needs medical attention
- clear information on when a person with asthma needs an ambulance
- phone numbers of emergency contacts
- name and contact details of the person's GP and the date when the plan was written.
If your child has asthma, it’s a good idea to make extra copies of the plan and hand it out to regular carers, such as grandparents, as well as teachers and early childhood educators. It might be helpful to note the location of your child’s reliever on the plan itself, so that it can be found easily during an asthma flare-up.
If you, or your child, haven’t received an asthma action plan, ask your GP or practice nurse to fill one out for you as soon as possible. You can download a print-friendly version on the National Asthma Council website and bring it to your next appointment.
An asthma action plan should be updated if there are any changes to asthma treatment.
Having an up-to-date action plan is particularly important during this COVID-19 pandemic.