First aid tips – asthma attacks

As part of a first aid training course, you will learn how to deal with all kinds of allergic reactions. Asthma, a long-term condition which can be triggered by allergens and irritants in the environment, is amongst the most common you are likely to come across in everyday life.

Most people with asthma have become adept at managing their condition and reacting to attacks. However, there are still situations in which your first aid training may be able to help someone who is suffering from asthma. For example, people who are having asthma attacks for the first time.

Here are the first aid basics you need to know to treat someone who is having an asthma attack:

  • You can recognise an asthma attack by the following symptoms – difficulty in breathing, followed by a long phase of breathing out, coughing, wheezing, distress and anxiety difficulty speaking, grey-blue lips and earlobes (in rare cases).
  • The first thing you should always do when someone appears to be having an asthma attack is to locate their blue reliever inhaler if they have one, and to help the person use it if they need you to.
  • Reassurance is also very important, so do your best to keep the person calm and get them to breathe slowly and deeply
  • Mild attacks should pass within a few minutes. If the attack doesn’t pass, the person may need to use their inhaler again.
  • If the person doesn’t have an inhaler or the inhaler doesn’t seem to having any effect after five minutes, you will need to call the emergency services for assistance.