What To Do During an Asthma Attack

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Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airway that causes airway inflammation, intermittent airway obstruction and bronchial hyperresponsivness.  Asthma is a common condition worldwide that affects a lot of persons. The pathophysiology of asthma is complex. It involves airway inflammation, intermittent airway obstruction, intermittent airway obstruction and bronchial responsiveness.

The mechanism of inflammation occurs from the hyperresponsiveness of the person’s airway. The presence of airway edema and mucus secretion also contributes to airflow obstruction and bronchial reactivity. The airway hyperresponsiveness or bronchial hyperactivity in bronchial asthma is exaggerated with numerous of factors or stimuli. The classic symptoms of asthma include coughing, wheezing and chest tightness. Some may present with difficulty talking or walking because of shortness of breath as well as cyanosis (turning to color blue) of the lips and fingernails. Knowing what to do during an asthma attack will help people that may have an asthma attack.

What to do During an Asthma Attack?

Some people are diagnosed to have asthma, thus they already have an asthma attack plan. The victims may already know what to do so help them through the process. If they have asthma attack plan you may be able to help them with contacting EMS or finding his or her / medication. Individuals enrolled in first aid training will learn about 5 rights of medication and how to manage respiratory emergencies such as asthma.   If the victim has no medication or needs your help you can help by doing the following:

Give Asthma First aid

An Asthma Inhaler

For first aid management. Have the person sit comfortably and remove tight clothing. Next, have the person use inhaler and assist him in using it. Ensure that you know the 5 rights of medication prior to aiding a person with his or her medication. Do not administer the medication you may only help with the patient that is administering it by his or her self. The following are common steps on how to use an inhaler.

  • Remove the cap and shake the inhaler well.
  • Insert the inhaler into the spacer.
  • Prepare the person and instruct him to breathe out completely and his mouth tightly around the spacer mouthpiece.
  • Have the person’s breath in slowly through the mouth, then to hold his breath for ten seconds. While inhaling, have the person press the inhaler once to deliver a puff.
  • If the person is using an inhaler without a spacer, give a total of four puffs with one minute interval from each puff.
  • After four puffs and you notice that breathing is still a problem for the affected person after four minutes, give another set of four puffs.
  • If there are still no improvements, give four puffs every four minutes until the emergency medical responders arrive.
  • Note also that drowsiness is not a sign of improvement; it may also indicate that asthma is worsening. Do the same for wheezing.


Ashtma Center. Guide to Asthma. Retrieved on June 12, 2014 from http://www.asthma.partners.org/newfiles/Lesson7.html

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