Every once in a while a public service announcement stops me in my tracks. This one did. It’s called “Park” and it’s a graphic depiction of how an asthma attack feels. It won the American Asthma Foundation a CLIO Award – and it helps non-asthmatics like me understand more about how harsh this disease is.
Asthma is one of the most common and costly diseases in the world. The prevalence of asthma has grown in recent decades, and there is no cure. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), more than 20 million Americans have asthma, and managing unstable asthma consumes over $18 billion of health care resources each year. Every year in the United States, asthma attacks cause approximately 10 million outpatient visits, 2 million emergency rooms visits, 500,000 hospitalizations, and 4,000 deaths.
May 1st it was World Asthma Day. For the millions of adults who have asthma, there has never been a cure, only medication options for preventing or treating asthma attacks. But there are some breakthroughs that could be life changing for adults with severe asthma.
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) offers a new procedure called bronchial thermoplasty that gives long-term relief from asthma. Ganesh Krishna, M.D., an interventional pulmonologist with expertise in pulmonary critical care medicine, is one of only a few doctors in the United States who are experts in highly specialized, minimally invasive pulmonary treatments including bronchial thermoplasty.
Bronchial thermoplasty is ideal for adults (18 years and older) who suffer from severe persistent asthma that is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta agonists, the current standard-of-care treatments.