What is a Written Asthma Action Plan?
An Asthma Action Plan is like an instruction manual for your asthma written by your doctor. Everyone with asthma should have an Asthma Action Plan, no matter how old you are or how mild your asthma might feel. It’s your guide on how to manage your asthma and what to do if you do have a flare-up or asthma attack.
Your doctor should always write the plan with you, not for you. This means they ask you about your triggers, your symptoms and what you can do to treat them. The goal of the Asthma Action Plan is to prevent and control asthma symptoms. Even if you know what to do when your asthma flares up, it is very useful to have clear instructions from your doctor written down in an emergency.
The plan has 4 main sections:
- How to look after your asthma daily.
- What to do if your asthma starts to flare-up.
- What to do if your asthma flare-up is severe.
- What to do in an asthma emergency.
If you are at risk of anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction) your doctor will provide you with a separate anaphylaxis plan.
Asthma Australia has an Asthma Action Plan that is suitable for both adults and children. It is also an acceptable plan for schools and childcare facilities.
For Asthma Action Plans in different languages, click on the Resources Library and type your preferred language in the search box.
Why you need a Written Asthma Action Plan
An Asthma Action Plan is one of the most useful asthma tools we have.
It sets out your important asthma information in a way that is easy to follow to help manage your asthma. It is a valuable reminder of what to do in case your asthma gets out of control.
Following your Asthma Action Plan and having regular reviews with your doctor leads to:
- fewer days off from school or work
- reduced emergency visits to hospital and
- less use of reliever medication.
All carers and family members should understand how to use your Asthma Action Plan so they can help during an asthma flare-up or attack.
Where to keep your Asthma Action Plan
- Keep your asthma action plan somewhere easy to find, like on the fridge or where you keep your puffers.
- Take a photo of it to keep on your phone.
- Use the Kiss myAsthma App to upload your plan.
- Give a copy to your child’s childcare centre or school.
How often should an Asthma Action Plan be updated?
Be sure to ask your doctor to review your Asthma Action Plan whenever asthma medicines or your symptoms change. Otherwise, aim for:
- once a year for adults or
- every six months for children.