Intended for healthcare professionals


Opportunities to prevent children dying from asthma are being missed, says safety watchdog

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 07 May 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1180
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

Children are dying preventable deaths because opportunities are being missed to recognise asthma as a chronic and life threatening condition, a national investigation by the Healthcare Service Investigation Branch (HSIB) has concluded.1

The investigation was launched after a five year old boy suffered a near fatal asthma attack and spent seven weeks in hospital, including 13 days in intensive care. The boy, who was born prematurely, had been a frequent attender at hospital, as an outpatient or inpatient or for emergency care.

The HSIB also looked at three preventable fatal cases in which coroners had made reports to prevent future deaths. “All three cases highlighted missed opportunities to recognise asthma as a …

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