First-Aid for Asthma Attacks

An asthma attack consists of narrowed airways that are swollen and producing extra mucus. The patient may be wheezing, feel short of breath and may be coughing. The symptoms vary from one person to the next and may also include pain or tightness in the chest. An attack can range from minor to life-threatening.
How To Treat An Asthma Attack
Asthma attacks should be identified and treated early to prevent the situation from worsening. If you suspect that a person is having an attack try to find out if something specific has triggered it and remove the irritant or the person from the situation if possible.
Find out if the person has an inhaler that was prescribed for them by their doctor. If so, they may need your help getting it for them if the attack is severe. Reassure the victim and help them get their breathing under control by asking them to breathe deeply and slowly. Have the person sit down in a comfortable chair and monitor the symptoms. If you notice that the individual is getting exhausted or the symptoms are becoming worse, it’s time to call an ambulance.
Here are the 5 most important symptoms to look for if you think that someone may be suffering from an allergy attack:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Distress
  • Cyanosis (the nail beds, earlobes and lips have a blue-grey tinge)

The victim may be suffering from all or only some of these symptoms. In many cases the person may be panicking since they can’t catch their breath so it’s important to make sure that the environment around him is kept as calm as possible. It’s easy for other people in the vicinity to become panicked as well and if they do just ask them to step out of the room while you are assisting the patient.
Learn more about asthma attacks and what other measures you can take when you see someone in respiratory distress by taking a First-Aid or CPR course in Toronto this month. Heart2Heart provides Red Cross-level first aid and CPR training to Toronto and the Ontario area. You can find out where these courses are being held by viewing the schedule at, or contact us today.