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How to Manage An Asthmatic Attack

An Asthmatic attack can happen any time to an asthmatic… You should know how to deal the Emergency….

You should know what drug you are supposed to take while Exacerbation

If you are an Asthmatic… always Carry Some Emergency Medications with you as prescribed by your doctor

An asthma attack can take anything from a few minutes to a few days to develop. During an asthma attack coughing, wheezing or breathlessness can quickly worsen.

Anyone with asthma should be prepared for an emergency. Even if you’ve kept your asthma under control for years, it could still get worse without you realizing it. Knowing the symptoms of an asthma emergency, how to monitor your asthma, and when to seek asthma emergency treatment could save your life.


Important Triggers of Asthmatic Attack:

  • Indoor allergens (for example house dust mites in bedding, carpets and stuffed furniture, pollution and pet dander);
  • Outdoor allergens (such as pollens and moulds);
  • Tobacco smoke; and
  • Chemical irritants in the workplace.
  • Cold air
  • Extreme emotional arousal such as anger or fear
  • Physical Exercise
  • Certain medications, such as aspirin and other non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, and beta-blockers (which are used to treat high blood pressure, heart conditions and migraine)



Symptoms of an asthmatic attack includes

  • Severe shortness of breath (struggling to breathe)
  • Rapid shallow breathing
  • Wheezing sound when breathing in and out (if wheezing stops with no improvement in symptoms it is an extreme EMERGENCY)
  • Chest tightness (feels as if someone is sitting on chest)
  • Unable to speak more than one or two words per breath
  • Distressed or feeling frightened
  • Little or no improvement after using reliever medication (Bricanyl, Ventolin or Salamol)
  • Areas at base of throat and between ribs ‘sucking in’ and out
  • Blueness around the lips
  • Hunching over

Note: Not all of the above symptoms may be present.


Take Care of Anaphylaxis:

If you have allergies — whether or not you have asthma — you are at risk for anaphylaxis (also called anaphylactic shock). This is the most dangerous type of allergic response, during which your entire body reacts to the allergen. The airways can swell shut, making breathing impossible. Untreated, anaphylactic shock can be deadly. If you have asthma, it requires asthma emergency treatment.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Rash
  • Swelling, especially of the throat
  • Unconsciousness
  • Wheezing, trouble breathing, and tightness in the chest
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and cramping
  • Pale or red face

Call for Help… and Take Epinephrine or any antihistaminics


Emergency Care:

Emergencies and Your Asthma Action Plan

You and your doctor need to create an asthma action plan that details what to do when you are in different zones — green, yellow, or red:

  • Green zone: You are free of symptoms and can do your usual activities. Peak flow readings are 80% to 100% of your personal best. You’re doing well. If you use daily control medicine, you should take it as usual.
  • Yellow zone: You have symptoms of asthma. Or your peak flow readings are between 50% and 80% of your personal best. Your asthma is worsening. You may need medicine to prevent a more serious asthma attack.
  • Red zone: You have symptoms of an asthma emergency. Peak flow readings are 50% or lower of your personal best. You are having a severe attack and need asthma emergency treatment.


An asthma action plan should also include:

  • Your name
  • The name and number of your family doctor
  • The name and number of your local hospital
  • Your personal best peak flow meter reading
  • A list of your asthma triggers
  • A list of asthma symptoms
  • The names and doses of your medications


4-Step Asthma Emergency Plan:

  1. img-ambulance.gifSit the person upright, and loosen any tight clothing. Stay with the person, remain calm and provide a reassuring attitude to help avoid panicking.
  2. Without delay give 6 separate puffs of a reliever (Ventolin or Salamol). The medication is best given one puff at a time via a spacer device. Use the puffer on its own if you don’t have a spacer.
    Ask the person to take 6 breaths from the spacer after each puff of medication.
  3. Wait 6 minutes.
  4. If there is little or no improvement, repeat steps 2 and 3. If there is still little or no improvement, continuously repeat steps 2 and 3 whilst waiting for the ambulance.


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