Asthma Attack

A chronic inflammatory and respiratory disorder where the lungs’ airways swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, chest tightness as well as shortness of breath among others, it is best prevented but can be subdued when it hits.


  • Breathing irregularities—shortness, very rapid breathing or difficulty
  • Wheezing while inhaling or exhaling
  • Extensive coughing with chest pain or heaviness
  • Retractions categorized with the tightening of both neck and chest muscles
  • Anxiousness or panic, pale face and cold-sweating, unusual blue colouration on lips and fingernails
  • Trouble doing daily activities and even talking, weakness, instability, drowning sensation when lying down
  • Worsening symptoms despite medication—of which you’ll need to see a doctor

First Aid for an Asthma Attack

1. Monitor Lifeline (DRABC)
Ensure the patient is breathing on their own and responsive to you. Follow DRABC.

2. Make Patient comfortable
Have them sit down but remain upright, leaning forward slightly. Calm and reassure the patient. Ask them to listen to you. Tell them to take slow, deep breaths and to try to relax. Speak firmly when giving instructions, but with a calm voice.

3. Help administer asthma medication
Known asthma sufferers will usually have an inhaler with them. Locate the inhaler and help the patient administer their medication.
The patient will usually take up to four ‘puffs’ of their inhaler, breathing in deeply with each ‘puff’. Wait for four minutes after four ‘puffs’.
If no improvement, give another four puffs.

4.  Call for help if attack continues
Seek immediate medical attention if there is no improvement. Whilst waiting for help to arrive, continue administering their medication:
Adults may have 6-8 puffs every 5 minutes.
Children may have 4 puffs every 4 minutes.

Known fact about Asthma: There are some types of asthma that fade as people grow up. This is common in asthmatic children aged below 12 who are very likely to heal on their own once they step into puberty. But there are some persisting conditions, or an individual develops asthma overtime. In this case, the basic need to do is avoiding triggers: pollen, dust, hair, powder, strong perfumes and odours as well as anything that can irritate or infect through inhalation. For those already plagued by Asthma, management is essential to deter an unwanted attack or to subdue it as soon as it does strike. Having quick-relief medication ready is important as well as proper first aid know-how.

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