Asthma sufferers have a long spring to endure, and the NSW Ambulance service is urging Fairfield residents to be prepared, with the region recording the second-highest number of callouts in Sydney for asthma attacks.
NSW Ambulance figures show paramedics attended 21,737 callouts for asthma in 2015-16, compared with 25,036 the previous year.
Over the two-year period, Fairfield, Liverpool, Macquarie Fields and Bankstown recorded 3604 call-outs, behind Auburn, Blacktown, Castle Hill, Parramatta and Riverstone with 4234.
The peak period for grass pollen counts is between October and Novvember.
Head of immunology department at Campbelltown Hospital and professor of immunology and allergy at Western Sydney University Connie Katelaris said that allergy sufferers should update management plans with their doctor, ensure they are on preventatives and using them properly, and always have reliever medications on hand.
“Importantly, people should also be treating their nasal allergy because if their allergic rhinitis is not well controlled they are more likely to have problems with their asthma,” she said.
NSW Ambulance zone manager for Illawarra & South West Sydney, Superintendent Stephanie Radnidge, added asthmatics should understand what triggers their condition.
“A serious asthma attack can be fatal in only minutes, so it is absolutely vital asthma sufferers carry their medication with them at all times, and call Triple Zero (000) should their symptoms become severe,” she said.
Superintendent Radnidge stressed the importance of ensuring patients with less urgent conditions access an appropriate treatment pathway.
“Hayfever and other allergies are certainly irritating but they are hardly life threatening,” she said.
“We need to make sure NSW Ambulance resources are used appropriately and effectively and not tied up with non-urgent situations.
“It’s important to remember that Triple Zero (000) is for emergencies and although we will answer every call and provide medical assistance, phoning for an ambulance is not always the right call to make to get the right care.
“NSW Ambulance Triple Zero (000) control centre staff and paramedics are health experts so the community needs to trust their ability to make the right decision.”
Further information on what to do in an asthma emergency is available at http://www.asthmaaustralia.org.au/Asthma_emergency.aspx