During an asthma attack, muscle contractions cause the airways of the lungs to narrow, leading to swelling and inflammation of the airways’ linings. This results in difficulty breathing, which can be life-threatening. The aims of first-aid treatment for an asthma attack are to help the victim to breathe and to seek medical help if symptoms do not improve.
Asthma Attack Signs & Symptoms
- Breathing becomes difficult
- Frequent dry, wheezy cough
- Difficulty talking
- Gray-blue tinge to skin
Asthma attack Treatment:
1: Calm victim
- Sit the victim down in a comfortable position. Leaning forwards is usually best.
- Reassure and calm her.
- Tell her to breathe slowly and deeply.
2: Provide medication
- Give the victim her reliever inhaler, and ask her to take a dose.
- If the victim is a child, he or she may need to have a spacer attached to the inhaler.
- The effect of the inhaler should be obvious within minutes if it is a mild asthma attack.
3: Repeat the dose
- If the inhaler has eased the symptoms, ask the victim to repeat the dose.
- Encourage her to continue breathing slowly and deeply.
- Tell her to inform her doctor if the attack was unusually severe.
- Do not use a preventive inhaler during an attack.
- If the victim becomes unconscious, open her airway, check breathing, and be prepared to begin resuscitation.
Call an ambulance if
- This is the first attack and the victim does not have an inhaler.
- The asthma does not improve after two doses of reliever inhaler.
- The victim is exhausted and is finding breathing increasingly difficult.