Prevent asthma attacks and deaths

Most asthma deaths are preventable

Self-management and treatment of asthma by clinicians to prevent asthma attacks and deaths requires a good understanding of the disease and its treatment. Asthma attacks (also called exacerbations) can be prevented and in most cases so can deaths from asthma be prevented. This  website and the asthma spotlight podcast provides information about asthma, the treatment and how to recognise and take action on asthma flare-up symptoms of cough wheeze and shortness of breath.

This site is for:

  • asthma sufferers and their families (please see disclaimer at bottom of page) **
  • primary care healthcare professionals
  • healthcare professionals working in a hospital setting
  • managers in health care
  • anyone involved in commissioning or paying for health care for people with asthma

Site author: Dr Mark L Levy 

I have over 40 years of experience as a doctor caring for people with asthma. I have a special interest in asthma and have authored/co authored over 165 papers  and 6 books on asthma. My Curriculum Vitae is available here which includes my role as expert witness in coroners inquests.. The clinical lead for the UK National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD) that I led, which concluded that the majority of those deaths had major preventable factors. Asthma attacks and deaths can be avoided by practicing evidence based medicine and implementation of expert guidance. I am currently doing voluntary work as Data and Digital clinical lead with NHS England on the children and young people’s (CYP) Asthma Transformation Program, available here.

Preventable asthma deaths persist

There has been little change in the proportions of preventable asthma deaths in the United Kingdom since 1977 (Nearly 50 years without change!). Asthma is still not taken seriously enough by patients, doctors, health care managers and politicians.

Asthma affects people’s ability to breathe in oxygen – which we need  to stay alive

Asthma is a serious problem that affects people’s ability to breathe oxygen. Of course we need oxygen to stay alive, so difficulty in getting your breath due to  tightness  of the air passages which is caused during asthma attacks is potentially dangerous. The key message is that asthma needs to be taken seriously and that means taking preventer medication prescribed by your doctor – usually in the form of inhaled corticosteroids.

Asthma attacks and deaths can be prevented

Preventer medication is essential to avoid asthma attacks and flare-ups and exacerbations. Attacks must be treated urgently.  The Asthma Spotlight Podcasts on this site provides a basic level of information on asthma,  diagnosis, its treatment, self-management and how to avoid attacks. In addition Ive interviewed a number of asthma experts  who provide a greater depth of information both for people with asthma and their carers.


  • Whilst I endeavour to ensure that the information contained on this site is true and accurate, I cannot give any warranty to that effect. I cannot be responsible for the consequences of reliance on that information, and any information of an advisory nature is general only and cannot be regarded as applicable to a specific case. In particular please note:
  • Nothing on this site may be regarded as clinical guidance, or advice for people with asthma
  • The site is intended both for people with asthma, their carers, and also for healthcare professionals.
  • My opinions are not intended to be comprehensive and if you are someone who has asthma this information is intended to be used in addition to that from your own doctor whose advice you should be following. My opinions cannot replace that given by your own doctor.
  • In particular, please note that I cannot accept any responsibility for the contents of materials viewable from this site.  These materials may be provided by (but are not limited to) files, links, frames and portals.