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Action plans available to help people manage asthma

November 3, 2003

Bismarck, N.D. - People with asthma now have access to a new tool to help manage this sometimes-fatal condition. The Asthma Action Plan was unveiled and distributed to health care professionals across North Dakota last week. Designed by the State Asthma Workgroup according to National Institutes of Health guidelines, the action plan helps asthma sufferers and their health care professionals better address asthma episodes.

"My daughter has asthma, and we have used the action plan, and it works well. It helps her manage her asthma by recognizing her symptoms and taking appropriate action to control them," said State Asthma Workgroup Coordinator Kora Dockter, R.N.

According to health officials, between eight and 10 percent of the children in North Dakota have asthma. Dockter said feedback from health care professionals on the desk guide and action plan has been positive. An educational webcast featuring guest speaker Dr. William Riecke attracted about 100 North Dakota healthcare professionals on October 23.

Dockter described the three-part action plan as easy to use. She said health care professionals simply fill it out according to a patient's symptoms, prescribed medication, and management strategies and provide it to the patient. Patients can refer to it for guidance when experiencing symptoms.

Asthma action plans have been distributed to physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, school nurses, and pharmacists in North Dakota. Health professionals can access the "Management of Asthma Using the National Institutes Guidelines, Revised 2002" webcast at www.health.state.nd.us. To view it, click on the "Webcast Schedule" in the Current Topics section, and then click on "List Archived Webcasts."

The N.D. State Asthma Workgroup that developed the materials includes individual health care professionals from across the state, as well as representatives from the N.D. Department of Human Services, the N.D. Department of Health, and the American Lung Association.


Kora Dockter, RN, N.D. Department of Human Services, (701) 328-4854, or
Heather Steffl, N.D. Department of Human Services, (701) 328-4933


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