What to do in the event of an asthma attack

Asthma attack Photo Credit: Pewari via Compfight cc

Asthma is a common medical problem. In the UK alone, around 5.4 million people are receiving treatment for the condition. When managed properly, asthma can usually be controlled effectively. Worryingly however, Britain has one of the highest asthma fatality rates in Europe. Every day, an average of three people die as a result of an asthma attack. Many of these deaths could be prevented if people followed the medical advice and treatment options available.

For example, health specialists such as LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor provide both preventer and reliever inhalers that can help to reduce risk.

If you or someone you love suffers from asthma, it’s important that you know how to respond in the event of an attack. This brief guide covers the basics.

Spotting the signs

The first step is to identify the signs of an attack. You can tell you’re having one of these episodes if your reliever inhaler isn’t helping and your symptoms, including coughing, breathlessness and a tightness in your chest, are getting worse. Being too breathless to speak, sleep or eat are also telltale signs. You might also find that your breathing becomes more rapid and you can’t catch your breath.

Bear in mind that children who are suffering from attacks sometimes complain of tummy aches.

Taking action

In the very first stages of an attack, a reliever inhaler may be enough to quell the symptoms. Take one or two puffs of your inhaler straight away. Then sit down and try to take slow and steady breaths. If you find you start to feel better, take two puffs on your inhaler every two minutes. You can take up to 10 puffs in total.

However, sometimes more serious action is needed. If your condition doesn’t improve, call an ambulance. Meanwhile, if medics don’t arrive within ten minutes and you’re still feeling unwell, keep taking puffs of your inhaler every two minutes.

When you do set off to the hospital, try to ensure you take the details of all your medicines with you.

After an attack

Once you have recovered from an attack, don’t simply ignore the issue and carry on as normal. It’s important to make an appointment with your doctor or an asthma nurse within two days. After all, you might need to make changes to your treatment in order to manage your condition better. For example, your dose may need to be altered.

As long as you know how to react when you suffer attacks, you can minimise any dangers.

This is a collaborative post. 

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1 Comment

  1. December 9, 2014 / 11:52 pm

    Thanks for this useful post, Kate! I have a friend with asthma and I wasn’t sure about how I’d have to proceed in case he had a serious attack, thank you very much 🙂
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