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First aid: Dealing with an Asthma Attack

An asthma attack can occur when a trigger causes the air passages to the lungs to narrow. This makes it difficult for the person to get enough air into their lungs. They find it hard to breathe and may also panic if the situation continues for any length of time.

If you suspect someone is having an asthma attack, look for these signs:

  • Difficulty breathing or speaking
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Distress
  • Grey-blue colour on the lips, earlobes and fingernails

If any of these signs are present, here’s what you should do:

  1. Reassure the person and ask them to breathe slowly and deeply.
  2. Help them use their inhaler immediately.
  3. Sit them in a comfortable position.
  4. If the condition doesn’t improve, call 999 or get someone to do it.
  5. Check their breathing and responsiveness until help arrives.
  6. If they lose consciousness, treat them as you would any unconscious person. Open their airway, check their breathing, and prepare to give them CPR.
adminFirst aid: Dealing with an Asthma Attack

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