Thunderstorm asthma outbreak of November 2016: a natural disaster requiring planning

AuthorsLindstrom, S.J.
Silver, J.D
Sutherland, M.F.
Treloar, A.B.
Newbigin, E.
McDonald, C.F.
Douglass, J.A.
TypeJournal Article (Original Research)
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
PubMed ID28899321
Year of Publication2017
AbstractLearning from a tragedy to increase public awareness and improve responses in future thunderstorm asthma events

Thunderstorm asthma is the occurrence of acute asthma either during or immediately after a thunderstorm and it is often characterised by a surge in emergency asthma presentations. The epidemic of thunderstorm asthma in Melbourne, Australia, on 21 November 2016 was the most extreme such event ever worldwide, with nine fatalities currently the subject of a coronial inquiry.1,2 Hospitals and ambulance services were placed under record pressure, and supplies of reliever medications were exhausted at some health services.1 Key tasks for the future are to predict the thunderstorms most likely to lead to asthma outbreaks and to define how best to respond. Further research to better anticipate these outbreaks is crucial and planning for the inevitable recurrence must occur at patient, institutional and state-wide levels.

< More publications


Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a chronic lung condition that causes stiff lungs and restricts sufferers from taking a deep breath. Exercise in a gym, such as walking or riding a bike, can help make...


Each year in Australia 260 people sustain a SCI, with over half losing full function in their arms and legs (quadriplegia). In addition to the primary disability, there is a very high rate of Obstructive...

Do you have Spinal cord injury? Tired?  Get treated!DO YOU HAVE SPINAL CORD INJURY? TIRED? GET TREATED!

Melbourne researchers have found that 80 percent of people with quadriplegic spinal injuries have sleep apnoea. It's having a big effect on their lives but they don't know they have it, and they don't know it can be treated.

World 1st heavy vehicle driver fatigue study releasedWORLD 1ST HEAVY VEHICLE DRIVER FATIGUE STUDY RELEASED

The National Transport Commission (NTC) and the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC) have released the results of what is hailed as a world-first study into heavy vehicle driver fatigue.

AAMRI Election Statement released on 25th March 2019AAMRI ELECTION STATEMENT RELEASED ON 25TH MARCH 2019

AAMRI released its election statement calling on politicians to commit to three main priorities: ensuring the MRFF reaches $20 billion by 2020-21, provide continued strong support for the NHMRC, and develop sustainable and rewarding career pathways.

Portrait unveiled at Canberra's Parliament HousePORTRAIT UNVEILED AT CANBERRA'S PARLIAMENT HOUSE

IBAS Director Anna Burke had barely got into the swing of her speech at the unveiling of her portrait at Canberra's Parliament House when the ringing of bells caused half her audience to hurry away.

Institute for Breathing and Sleep

Level 5, Harold Stokes Building, Austin Hospital
145 Studley Road
Heidelberg, Victoria, 3084

(03) 9496 5390

Email Us