Living with asthma can be scary, whether you have asthma yourself, or someone close to you suffers. Being prepared for an asthma attack is crucial and
knowing how to spot the signs and deal with them swiftly can be crucial in saving someone’s life.
When the symptoms of asthma become aggravated, the airways become tightened and swell up, which means that breathing could become difficult because there is less space for the air to flow in and out of the lungs.
Roughly about one in ten adults in Australia have asthma, along with approximately one in nine children and it is more common in males than it is females. Children aged 0-14 years of age are more likely to go to an emergency department needing treatment for asthma symptoms and these visits are more likely to occur towards the end of February.
With the end of Summer drawing near, and Winter being when hospital admission rates for asthma hit their peak, it is important to know how to react should you be faced with an asthma attack.
If you suffer from asthma yourself and an attack occurs, it is important to try and remain calm. This is difficult, especially if you are only recently diagnosed with asthma or have not had an attack before, but the symptoms will become more aggravated if you start to panic. You should focus on breathing in slowly and try not to take big gulps of air. If the symptoms persist, ensure you get medical assistance as soon as possible, go to the hospital or call the emergency services straight away.
If you are with someone who suffers an asthma attack, again, staying calm is crucial! If you panic, they will be likely to panic too. Get the person to sit down, rather than lie down, as it will be easier for them to breathe.
Ask them if they have an inhaler with them. If they don’t have one available, the majority of doctors say that it is ok, in this instance, to use someone else’s inhaler if there is one available. Give the patient two to four puffs of the inhaler and another dose five minutes later. Once they have had their medication, stay with them for a few minutes to see what effect the medication has. If, after ten minutes, the medication has had no effect, call an ambulance for further medical assistance.
By making yourself aware of the basics when it comes to first aid for asthma, you will be able to deal with an emergency situation effectively should one arise. If you think you would benefit from learning more about how to deal with asthma, or any other medical emergencies, we have an array of First Aid courses available. It could save a life one day! Contact us for more information about what our courses cover.