Shielding: Hey, I’ve recently had a... - Asthma UK communi...

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Hey, I’ve recently had a massive flare up of my asthma and have struggled, I’ve been given steroids (preds) and have been on them for almost 14days now today is the last day I’m aloud to take them. Since jan I’ve been on these steroids 3 times. My doctor has just decided to put me on fostair 200/6 and it’s definitely helped although I’m not keen on the side affects but I’m definitely willing to give it a go because my asthma is already feeling under much more control and I’m breathing much better.

I work at a school as a 1:1 with a child with ASD so keeping socially distanced is hard. I’m really concerned of my risk of catching COVID we’ve had 5 cases of teaching staff already. I know the shielding advise has changed but with the amount of steroids I’ve been taking and I’m now on not sure if I’m meant to be off?

13 Replies

I would say no as, while you've had to have various courses of steroids this year, this is presumably on top of medication that wasn't classed as high dose (as you've only recently been moved to that - and it might not tick the high dose box now, it will depend exactly what you're taking of Fostair and anything else ) and presumably you weren't in the extremely vulnerable group before. That sounds confusing but its not as simple as a name of an inhaler and some courses of steroids.

That said, if you aren't well enough to work anyway at the moment (if your asthma flare is preventing that) then speak to your GP.

Similarly, to discuss this properly, speak to your GP as I'm just going off what I know of guidelines, I'm by no means an expert. The situation does seem to be improving in most places now anyway but, as I say, speak to your GP if you are concerned. I imagine they'd have to sign you off.

Loz873 in reply to twinkly29

I’m on 8 tablets of prednisone (40g) have been for 14days and I’ve been prescribed them 3 times since jan and I’m now on 2 puff of the 200/6 morning and night, Which is higher dose of the fostair inhaler. The lower dose is 100/6. I’ve been off work for 2wks just really worried about going back.

Loz873 in reply to Loz873

I will call the gp and discuss this with them though thank you.

twinkly29 in reply to Loz873

That would be sensible - hopefully once you've got over this flare it will settle down and be ok....but it is difficult when you're in that "not actually settled at the moment" stage as there's no advice for that.

twinkly29 in reply to Loz873

That still wouldn't come under the extremely vulnerable I don't think. Think it includes a particular amount of high dose inhalers plus another preventer medication plus steroids (and I'm not sure how many courses they say for that). By the time the new inhaler has kicked in properly hopefully shielding will have finished anyway actually.

It's difficult for people where circumstances have changed like yours, hence why speaking to your GP or nurse would be sensible as they know you. Generally asthma has been found to put people at no greater risk than other people (so many people were needlessly told they were vulnerable before when they weren't - I say needlessly but of course they didn't know before so advice was understandably extra cautious).

Hi, it was suggested to me if you had had 4 40mg/day for 5 days courses in a 6 month period and daily Montelukast then you'd make the shielding list. Of course, that may have changed.

It depends where you are. There is no shielding in Scotland this time around. The advice is to work from home where possible. Which is impossible if you work in a school or a supermarket. Otherwise the advice is that it's the employer's responsibility to make the workplace 'covid safe' which again in those situations is fairly meaningless.

I’m in England and shielding is in place for us here if your servilely asthmatic.

I've been wondering, is there some kind of hotline to report lack of safety in the workplace? According to my "managers" the place is safe, the only thing that makes it unsafe is the practices of my fellow workmates (?). It is definitely not safe.

I don’t know. Maybe someone else can answer that. I can totally sympathise with your situation ☹️

Hi not too dissimilar to my situation in previous post 3 lots of steroids , upgraded to Fostair and about another 10 days montelukast or so. I am not sure if should work from home mostly as I can do. You are probably very limited what work can be done at home, there is your problem, would just share your concerns with GP & employer.

You are entitled to reasonable adjustments in the workplace because of your disability (asthma can be classed as a disability for these purposes). These are designed specifically for you in order to reduce any known risks in the workplace. Have a chat with your HR and request an occupational health review. This is carried out by an accredited practitioner. They will consider your specific health challenges and the risks in the workplace then make recommendations to the employer on what they can do to limit your exposure to risks.This takes time, so the sooner you request this, the sooner the review can take place. GPs are not responsible for workplace occupational health.

If you're in a union I strongly advise that you seek their support.

If you are still unwell then request another sick note from your GP. As er another suggestions ask your employer for occupational health review. The guidance isn't the same now for shielding. Are you under the care of a consultant?

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