A helpline for people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has received over 10,000 calls since 2014.
According to the Asthma Society of Ireland, its Adviceline recently received its 10,000th call since 2014. The services allows people to speak to a respiratory nurse specialist, multiple times if needs be.
The aim is to ensure that those with asthma are better informed and able to manage their condition.
Meanwhile in 2016, the Adviceline was extended to include calls from COPD patients.
"I am very happy to see that people are availing of our free Adviceline service - we were delighted to recently take our 10,000th call. Irish research estimates suggest that 60% of the 470,000 people in Ireland with asthma do not have the condition under control and one person dies every week from asthma in Ireland.
"It is so important that people with asthma and COPD properly control their conditions and the Adviceline is the perfect way for them to do so. Picking up the phone is a great first step in taking charge of your asthma and/or COPD and moving toward a better life," commented Asthma Society CEO, Sarah O'Connor.
She explained that the nurse specialists on the Adviceline ‘work through every aspect of life with callers who have asthma and/or COPD'.
"They can help with what to do in the event of an asthma attack, the signs and symptoms of COPD, answering questions after a GP or consultant appointment, dealing with triggers that may cause a serious escalation, and helping you put an asthma action plan or COPD self-management plan in place.
"After speaking to one of our nurses, you'll be fully equipped with the information and skills you need to improve your health and to stay as well as possible," Ms O'Connor insisted.
A survey conducted by the Asthma Society last August found that 89% of service users agreed or strongly agreed that the Adviceline improved their understanding of prescribed medications and when to use them. A further 98% were satisfied or very satisfied with the empathy and understanding displayed by the nurse who took their call.
The survey also found that following their call(s), 86% of respondents were more confident in managing their asthma and 89% had an improved knowledge of what to do in the event of an attack or escalation of their illness.
The free Adviceline service has been providing support to people with asthma for more than 30 years. The 10,000th call was tracked from all calls since 2014.
The Adviceline number is 1800 44 54 64 and it is open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Callers can book a free call back appointment from a nurse at a time that suits them.