How to Respond to an Asthma Attack
A lot of people know someone who has asthma but many of us don’t know exactly what to do when they suffer an attack right before us and they are struggling to breathe.
How you react to such situations can have a huge impact on the victim’s health and well-being and that is why we have penned this post so as to enlighten you on what asthma is and how to respond to an asthma emergency.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a common chronic respiratory condition that is potentially life-threatening. It affects about 10% of young children although there are adults still suffering from the same.
Most patients find it difficult to control their asthma at certain times of the year with the cold weather responsible for the most severe attacks.
Those with asthma experience tightness in their chests and the lining of their airways get inflamed which makes them produce phlegm. This makes it difficult to breathe and the patient could be found gasping for breath.
The Triggers for Asthma
There are various triggers for asthma with pollen, pollution and cold weather chief among them.
Most asthma patients are aware of what triggers their asthma attacks but sometimes there is nothing they can do to avoid them. Most trees and grass species release their pollen during spring and this is the time when most asthma cases are reported.
The Symptoms of Asthma
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of asthma to look out for.
- Shortness of breath.
- Tightness in the chest.
- Production of mucus and phlegm.
Some people may not exhibit all these symptoms at once but if several of them are present, then that person is very likely suffering an asthma attack.
How to Help Someone Suffering an Asthma Attack?
When you notice the symptoms of asthma as they have been highlighted above, then it is time to act so as to help the individual recover from the attack.
Training in First Aid with CPR C and AED will give you the confidence to respond appropriately to the attack and prevent the emergency from escalating any further. Here is what you need to do in the event of an asthma attack;
- Remain calm and encourage the victim to remain calm as well.
- Get the patient to sit down and loosen their clothes. Ask them to take slow and steady breaths as they settle down.
- If they are still not feeling better, get their reliever inhalers and ask them to inhale the medication.
- Call emergency medical services and give your exact location. In the meantime, the patient should keep using the inhaler.
- If the symptoms don’t improve and you suspect that the attack is as a result of an allergic reaction, then ask the person if they have an epinephrine auto-injector. Read the instructions on how to administer the injection and if you are not sure of how to go about it, let emergency medical services guide you on how to do it.
NOTE: It’s not advisable to take the victim outside for air as the cold could make the symptoms worse.