Asthmatic on Doctors - 10th of May

Just had to share this. I'm currently working at home whilst I recover and Doctors is on TV. Just saw a crazy example of asthma. Girl is walking, all of a sudden starts wheezing heavily and has to sit down as she cannot breathe. A doctor sees her, oh no! Her inhaler is empty but it's OK as the doctor tells her to simply breathe out as she's fine within seconds. Well if I knew it was that easy I would have done that years ago ;)



20 Replies

  • Dammit, think of all the money we've been wasting on various medications, hospital admissions etc. and all the time we've spent feeling rubbish. Who is this doctor? Does the NHS know about him? Can he nip round and sort my lungs out in his tea break? Which TV company was it? I'm thinking that we could all contact them and ask for an appointment with this miracle worker.

    LOVE your username, by the way, it says it all!

  • LOVE your username, by the way, it says it all!

    Thanks :) My bf says I have rat lungs but I think they sound more like weasels. All afternoon we have been saying. ""Oh of course!! I should have breathed OUT!"" It's this kind of publicity that makes my work mates think I'm just blagging time at home.



  • Hehe yes if only! Think we'll all be fighting for this dr's magic powers.

    I think it was Casualty where an old guy comes into a pharmacy really struggling to walk and breathe. Pharmacist gives him an inhaler, he takes two puffs in a way which I am pretty sure would have any asthma nurse scandalised (massive fast breath, clearly no-one had shown the actor how you're meant to do it - hope he wasn't asthmatic in real life!). Then he gets up and walks out absolutely fine!

  • grrr...

    Decided to watch the clip- totally daft.

    My asthma is playing up so I'm in bed for the day and my exams start on Tuesday. Should just ask that doctor to pop over and cure me.


  • How fantastic!! For the last 18 years I have been doing it wrong. ""Dr Freya to the rescue.""

    How can asthmatics be taken seriously when it is shown as just a bit out of breath ha!

    Don't forget to breath out everyone xx

  • Haven't seen it yet but yep, this kind of thing does reinforce the message that 'a couple of puffs and you'll be fine'. The guy I saw on Casualty was struggling to speak, no way he'd have been ok with 5 mins sitting down and a couple of puffs of blue, and a pharmacist I hope would not let someone who'd come in like that just walk out!

    I wonder if any shows actually have managed to show asthma accurately? The other thing they do that annoys me is asthmatics are always the geekiest kids around. I mean yes, I am and was a massive geek but that has NOTHING to do with being asthmatic! Even if you leave aside the whole 'geeks must wear glasses and be badly dressed' stereotype which also annoys me, this whole link with being geeky kind of implies that asthma is some kind of personality trait.

  • Maybe we should think about complaining when we see this sort of thing. We're always coming across people who think that asthma is a minor ailment and that's largely because of the way it's portrayed on TV.

  • Had to watch the episode just to see it in my Own eyes! I've just added Freya to my list of tv doctors I'm waiting to come running to help me ! Shes way up the top of the list alongside Nick Jordan with his ability to set u up a neb with no noise or steam ect oh an his ability to get you an Icu bed at the click of his fingers !!

    Come on bbc give us a fair portrayal !!

  • Just watched this - oh my goodness what rubbish! If you were having an attack that bad, no way someone telling you to breathe out would do the trick! Agree that because of this kind of stuff some people seem to think that if you're not gasping for breath and collapsing you must be fine and can't possibly have asthma.

  • OMG just watched this, what a completely crap portrayal! I take it they don't listen to their medical advisers - well I hope they don't as a real doctor ought to know better.

    That also has to be the shortest and most random attack ever - she's fine, just walking along, no obvious triggers (and let's face it, TV isn't going to go for the subtle triggers like 'oops wet paint' or 'that woman is drowned in perfume', they'd have a full-on bonfire or something for a trigger) then suddenly she's on the ground and then walking around again just fine?

    Breathing out is truly a miracle it seems. It even means you don't need to do a proper asthma review either - later when she's actually at the surgery there's a prominent display of asthma-related implements on the doctor's desk but she just gets 'you're fine now', nothing along the lines of 'ummm does this happen on a regular basis then?' etc which you would sort of hope they'd ask! Still, she can just breathe out, so clearly no need for a preventer or anything...

  • When I watched this programme I could not believe what had just been said, what a lot of rubbish.

  • It's just horrible that at the moment I'm having to work at home (on doctor's note) as my asthma has been having a month long hissy fit but my work mates keep just asking ""why can't they give you some drugs to clear it up?"" like it's a cold...

    Just once I would like a TV portrayal to show how dangerous it can be and perhaps highlight to others how they can actually help. I'd sure like The Malik on Holby to give someone a right good telling off for not treating it seriously ;)



  • OMG I so wish it was that simple to get out of an asthma attack what have I been doing so wrong? Lol it crazy how some people think you just come out of an attack like that it could be sooooo dangerous if someone was having a really bad time and cause of this Dr on tv instead of getting help for someone it could end in disaster if the help is not sought after but it would me nice if an attack would just gigger off by deep breaths love and hugs to all xx

  • Someone I know complained to BBC about this.

    Below is what the BBC had to say about this issue.

    Thanks for contacting us about BBC One’s ‘Doctors’ broadcast on 10 May.

    I understand you were annoyed to see a character with asthma recovering quickly without the aid of an inhaler as you feel this is inaccurate.

    I’m sure you are aware that it’s very difficult to produce a programme which ties in with everyone's concept or experience of how people should or indeed do behave, particularly as it’s a drama series which will by necessity involve an element of dramatic licence.

    Audiences generally have no difficulty in accepting that such programmes are fiction not documentary, and that any portrayal isn’t strictly representative of the real life counterparts of the characters portrayed. However, we’re sorry if any offence was caused.

    Your comments are most welcome as we’re driven by audience reaction and I'd like to assure you that I've registered your complaint on our audience log. This is daily report of audience feedback and it's made available to all BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive board, channel controllers and other senior managers.

    The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions on future BBC programmes and content.

    Once again, thank you for contacting us.

  • That's pretty dismissive, isn't it? The media usually take a lot of care not cause offence to people who are physically disabled or learning disabled and to portray their difficulties accurately, probably because there have been effective pressure groups at work, and I'm guessing that unless a similar group takes on the cause of asthmatics there won't be any change to the way the media portray the condition or the way that non-asthmatics think about it.

  • Seriously it doesnt help does it . The number of people who would say about my son ""but its ONLY asthma"" without ever fully understanding what that means .

    On a non serious note could we not rewrite the sketch in the style of harry hill where one of us pops up with a bag of meds whilst the recovering asthmatic head butts the doc for being so bloody stupid .

  • caldan - Like

    In hospital recently on surgical ward, I'd a bad asthma attack. As I was recovering, a nursing assistant came in and said she thought I hadn't really had an attack as when she has one, a spoonful of cough mixture really helps. Also had I tried taking a deep breath and holding it for a slow count to five.

  • Grannymo, did you imagine yourself bodyslamming her to the floor when she said that?!

    Seriously, whats the matter with some people???

  • I agree that's a pretty dismissive reply. I think it's a bit shortsighted of them to claim that people understand it's fiction - yes - but there's always an element of research due to the need to be factually correct, so while you would understand that the storyline was fictional, you wouldn't expect it to include elements that are factually impossible/extremely unlikely.

    If someone is not asthmatic themselves and doesn't have any close relatives who are asthmatic, and all they have seen is people gasping and wheezing and taking two puffs of blue to get back to normal, they can't really be blamed for not fully understanding. Until I had personal experience of hayfever I had no idea how horrible it is, I thought it was just itchy eyes.

    However, two former colleagues both questioned whether I was actually asthmatic, and were apparently amazed that I needed to go home/have time off due to it - despite one being asthmatic herself and the other having a child who was asthmatic. Now that I really couldn't understand!

  • At the risk of being shot down, I have some sympathy with the BBC script writers and their need to portray a complicated condition in a short space of time. I've only in the last month been diagnosed as having asthma. And - apart from the coughing, chest pain, wheezing, breathlessness and collapse that caused me to visit the doc in the first place (all mostly gone now thank goodness), I'm struggling myself to understand what the symptoms of asthma really are! Before, I thought it was all about gasping for breath - despite having a friend and a family member who have asthma. Of course, I now understand a lot more than I did before, but there seem to be so many aspects too it. My friend has only now come out and talked to me about her own experience (not like mine at all) and admits that she prefers to keep it quiet for fear she'll be seen as less able at work, or to become an illness bore! So, if people misunderstand, do we have ourselves to blame? At this early stage in my own asthmatic life I have yet to discover what my own 'triggers' are, and how I 'deal' with them. Can'i wait! But I hope I am brave enough to explain them to friends, family and colleagues - in an unboring way!

You may also like...