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Asthma advice on YouTube

1 February 2007

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A GP’s surgery in Wales is using the popular website YouTube to give patients advice on asthma inhalers.

The website enables people to share video clips online – it is estimated that 76 million people viewed clips last year alone.

Three practice nurses from Builth and Llanwrtyd Medical Practice in rural mid-Wales have filmed and uploaded six clips, including one where a nurse demonstrates how to use an inhaler.

The practice, which covers more than 500 square miles, hopes its advice online will avoid unnecessary travelling to a see a doctor.

Erica Evans, Asthma UK’s Asthma Care Development Manager, commented: “We have known for a long time that simple improvements to inhaler technique can make all the difference to asthma control. Improvements in technique can mean being able to stay on the lowest dose of medicine possible and still be free from symptoms. Lapses in technique over time can similarly mean lapses in control of asthma, which may go unnoticed.

“The best possible plan is to get your doctor or asthma nurse to review your technique at your asthma review. This video clip is an innovative way of reminding people what they should do between visits. For a step-by-step guide to technique for a number of inhaler devices visit Asthma UK’s inhaler demo There should also be clear instructions in the pack each time you get a new inhaler.”

As well as asthma inhalers, the videos also include advice on smear testing, blood sugar testing and the winter flu vaccine.