The American Lung Association in Iowa is hoping to raise awareness about a disease that affects 20,000 people in the state. The organization announced plans today for an asthma fundraiser in September. Dr. Tom McAuliff is Director of the Children’s Emergency Center at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. He says asthma is a chronic disease, that can be difficult for children.
He says children have a good chance of developing asthma if there’s a family history of lung problems. McAuliff says asthma sufferers need to learn the signs of an "attack" to better manage the illness. "We think of (asthma) like diabetes, where it can be very severe and last a lifetime," McAuliff says, "but in very many instances it can be controlled where a person can essentially lead a normal life."
Untreated asthma attacks account for near 45,000 emergency room visits a year in Iowa."Children with a chronic cough, chronic wheeze, night time cough, anything that debilitates them from leading a normal life, should probably be checked and make sure they don’t have asthma," McAuliff says. The American Lung Association will hold an Asthma Walk on September 8th at 9 A.M. at the Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines. Proceeds raised from the walk support educational programs, like a camp for 7 to 14 year old kids that suffer from asthma.