Unique, practical knowledge for nurses responsible for daily management of patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related conditions.

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Monday, 01 June 2009
On 23 June 2005, the Met Office issued a warning that severe thunderstorms were likely to hit the South East of England in the next 24 hours. On the evening of Friday 24 June, primary care out-of-hours services and hospital accident and emergency departments in Northwest London were inundated by patients attending with acute asthma. The scale of these attendances – eight times more patients than usual in one hospital – meant that departments had to call in additional staff and some ran out of emergency supplies of bronchodilators, nebulisers and oral steroids for treating asthma. In this article, we will explain the background and some of the theories related to this type of epidemic of acute asthma – Thunderstorm Asthma.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Many of your patients will be planning their holidays, but some may be worrying unnecessarily about their respiratory condition. There are a host of resources and information available for them, and practice nurses can make sure they provide the right information about travelling with asthma, COPD or allergies. This article provides practical tips on how best to advise patients who are thinking of going on holiday.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Over the next few months practice nurses are likely to see many patients with hayfever (also known as seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis). Although it may appear to be a minor complaint, hayfever can result in considerable suffering for the individual, who may or may not seek professional help and advice. Practice nurses play an important role in improving the management of this condition. In this article, we describe the impact of hayfever on patients and provide a comprehensive review of the treatments currently available for hayfever.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Cases of tuberculosis (TB) have been increasing over the past few years, with recent data from the Health Protection Agency showing a rise of 2% from 2005 to 2006 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, following a rise every year since the late 1980s. Although London continues to account for the highest proportion of cases – 42% – there have been outbreaks throughout the country. In this article, we review the cause, pathology, clinical investigations, diagnosis and management of TB.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Allergic diseases such as hayfever and allergic asthma are becoming increasingly common in westernised countries such as the United Kingdom, with an estimated 25% of the population now suffering from some form of allergic condition. Urticaria and angioedema are commonly thought of as allergic problems although in general only acute symptoms are related to allergen exposure. Here we discuss the diagnosis and management of urticaria and angioedema in primary care, with particular focus on identifying allergic triggers and managing long-term symptoms successfully.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Although breathlessness is a complex symptom, appropriate management in primary care can be very rewarding, and does not have to rely on complex, hi-tech interventions. This article discusses the rationale behind the practical interventions that practitioners in primary care can consider.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
The role of nurses working in the National Health Service has undergone major development in recent years with new roles and expansion of skills into new areas which has included respiratory care. However, as always, an increased role demands increased responsibility and this article examines the key legislation affecting practice nurses, and how they can reduce the risk of medico-legal action.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
More than half of people with asthma in the UK have inadequate symptom control, despite the range of effective therapies now available. Rather than blaming patients when they fail to take their medications as prescribed, we need to examine the way we conduct asthma consultations and ask whether we are failing to meet the needs of individual patients. How can we gain greater understanding about what people with asthma want from healthcare professionals and treatments, so we can achieve a more patient-centred approach to care?
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
We continue our series of articles on research concepts by explaining what ‘double-dummy’ trials are and why researchers use them to compare medications that are delivered using different types of inhalers.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
In the current political and social environment, health care is changing at a frenetic pace and nurses may feel that they are being left behind. The British Thoracic Society (BTS) and General Practice Airways Group (GPIAG) support and represent practitioners with an interest in secondary and primary care respectively. They have set up a joint initiative called IMPRESS to help respiratory clinicians to understand what is going on and how to get involved. This article gives an update on what the initiative is, how it works and what it’s done so far.
Category: Editorial

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