Frequently Asked Questions

What is Thunderstorm Asthma?

On the evening of Monday 21 November 2016, Melbourne experienced the largest ever recorded “Thunderstorm Asthma” event. After a particularly hot day a dramatic cool change arrived with thunderstorm activity and strong westerly winds. Within a short period many thousands of people across Melbourne developed breathing difficulties. There was a huge spike in calls to emergency services (000) and emergency department attendances. In the 30 hours from the start of the event there was a 1000% increase in asthma-related admissions to Victorian hospitals when compared with the 3-year average. Tragically, nine deaths occurred which can be directly attributed to the Thunderstorm Asthma event.

Dr Adrian Chazan



Dr Chazan is a Respiratory & Sleep Physician, and General Physician. Born in Melbourne, he undertook his basic medical training at the University of Melbourne. With a passion for sleep and breathing, he trained at world-renowned centres of excellence in Melbourne and Sydney, including Westmead Hospital, the Alfred Hospital and Monash Medical Centre. Adrian has been involved in research activities in the fields of sleep apnoea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and exercise physiology.

Adrian utilises the latest findings in sleep research as well as the emerging technologies in diagnosis and treatment. He takes a patient-centered approach to medical care with the aim of empowering his patients to achieve better sleep and optimal long-term health outcomes.

Dr Rajiv Sharma



Dr Sharma completed his basic physician training in St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. Subsequently he trained in Respiratory Medicine at The Canberra Hospital and Sleep Medicine at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. Prior to relocating to Melbourne, he worked as a full time Respiratory & Sleep Medicine staff specialist at Townsville Hospital. Rajiv enjoys managing all aspects of Respiratory and Sleep disorders including Asthma, COPD, interstitial lung disease, chronic cough, lung nodules, sleep apnoea, hypersomnolence, restless legs syndrome and other non-respiratory sleep disorders.

He also has a special interest in interventional pulmonology (bronchoscopic techniques). Dr Sharma also has keen interest and experience in medical education and research and has been involved in these areas for a number of years.