Hull man dies from asthma attack triggered by cold weather
12th April 2013
inhalerA man from Hull has tragically lost his life following a severe asthma attack, thought to have been induced by severe cold weather. Steven Metcalfe, 38, had been hospitalised on a number of occasions because of his asthma, and recent temperatures in the UK that plunged in minus figures, had only worsened his breathing difficulties. His father Tony, 58, and also an asthma sufferer, spoke on Wednesday describing how he had immediately flown home from his job on a North Sea oil rig after receiving the devastating news that his son had died at home on April 5. Mr Metcalfe said: “Asthma can strike you down – people need to take it a lot more seriously. It has knocked us for six. No one expected it.” Steven was employed as a welder and shared a home with his girlfriend of two years Debbie Brennan, 39, on the Longhill estate, East Hull. Steven’s father added: “Steven had been in and out of Castle Hill Hospital twice in the past few months. In particular, Steven had been having a lot of trouble with his circulation. The cold usually makes asthma worse. Over the past few weeks especially, he always seemed out of breath,” adding that his son had died in bed as a result of both heart failure and asthma. “When you have asthma, your heart has to work that much harder,” said Mr Metcalfe, employed with rig company Wood Group along with his other son Lee, 31. He continued: “Lee and I were on different rigs but a helicopter collected us and flew us back to Aberdeen. We were then flown to Humberside Airport. Unfortunately, Steven had already died.” Mr Metcalfe says like himself and the majority of other asthma sufferers, Steven had to use two inhalers and always made sure to take his medication. “The blue inhaler is used in case of an attack and the brown one each morning and night to prevent attacks,” he said. Dr Samantha Walker, director of research and policy at the charity Asthma UK, said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Steven Metcalfe and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time. Asthma can be an extremely serious and potentially fatal condition with more than 1,100 people in the UK dying from asthma each year. We are working hard to develop ways of stopping people getting asthma and helping those who have it to stay fit and healthy. Our dedicated asthma nurses can offer expert advice and support through the Asthma UK Adviceline, on 08001 216244.” Cold weather however is only one of many triggers and others include: . Tobacco smoke.  This can irritate the lungs and it is imperative that you stop smoking immediately if you smoke and have asthma, or avoid coming into contact with secondhand smoke. . Pollen from certain trees, grasses and flowers. Pollen is linked to problems for both asthma and hay fever sufferers. Many health experts believe the two are connected and that asthma suffers also benefit from taking an anti-histamine such as Loratadine on a regular basis, to act as a precaution to allergic and asthmatic reactions. . Air pollutants such as car exhaust fumes and the already mentioned tobacco smoke can release gases and particles that affect the airways. Evidence actually suggests a higher risk of asthma developing in people living nearby to roads with heavy traffic. . Many asthmatics are sensitive to the droppings of house dust mites; tiny creatures that inhabit carpets, beddings and soft furnishings. . Changes in air temperature. For instance, leaving a warm room and going outside into colder air can sometimes trigger an attack. . Some asthmatics find that exercise triggers an asthma attack and may need to use their reliever inhaler such as Ventolin Evohaler.