Experiencing an asthma attack can be a very difficult for kids and adults alike. Every year, thousands of people die because of direct or indirect asthma attacks. In the United Kingdom alone, about 4 people die out of asthma every single day, and a lot of patients visit the emergency room because of uncontrolled asthma symptoms. Learning to deal with asthma can be very hard even those for patients who are already being treated, what more for people who aren’t taking their asthma seriously? They can literally die within seconds especially if they have no one to take care of them during emergency situations. This is why even if you’re not the one suffering from this deadly illness, you should still be aware of what to do in case your relative, child, spouse, friend or someone you care about experience an asthma episode. If you know how to deal with these situations you can save their lives.
Knowing about asthma – its warning signs, symptoms, quick – relief solutions, possible treatment and triggers will help you understand the nature of the illness inside out. This is essential if you’re in a situation wherein you need to help someone whose asthma has gone out of control in a public place or even at your own home.
Here are some tips on how to help people having an asthma attack:
- First of all, don’t panic! Calm yourself down so that the patient will also be relaxed. Be alert and have a presence of mind.
- Asthmatic patients will find it easier to breathe if they’re sitting up, so make sure that you help them get into a comfortable sitting position instead trying to lay them down.
- If they are a responsible asthma patient, chances are they have been briefed on what to do during an attack. Your job is to assist them during the episode because if it’s a severe attack, they might not be able to help themselves efficiently. Before it gets worse, ask them where their meds or inhalers are, assist them in taking it, and call for help if necessary.
- Don’t do anything unless you know exactly what you’re doing, if you aren’t sure what to do, call for medical help or dial 911 immediately. Do what the doctor/professional will instruct you in aiding the patient.
- Most asthma patients know that when an attack happens, they won’t be able to speak, they would probably hand you a written instruction on what to do. If in case, you are handed one, just follow the instructions as fast as you can.
- You can help them use their inhaler. It is designed to relax or calm the patient’s lungs and helps normalize their breathing.
- According to most doctors it’s okay to use another patient’s medicine if in case the patient doesn’t brought his/her own meds/inhaler, and you or a family member who’s also asthmatic happens to have one. What you can do is to give 2 to 4 puffs and wait for about 5 minutes before giving the next puff. Make sure to positing the inhaler properly and let the patient know when you’re going to puff it so that he/she can breathe in at the same time. Wait for a few minutes before giving another dose or until he/she is ready for the next.
- If ever the patient is not responding to medication in the next 10 minutes, it’s time to call an ambulance, just make sure to continue giving 2 to 4 puffs every 5 minutes until the ambulance arrives. The inhaler will at least control the attack and provide relief while waiting for professional help.
Always stay calm, talk to him/her and tell the patient that help is on the way and that everything will be alright. Stay with the patient until help arrives, if the patient sees that you’re there for them all throughout the episode, they’ll be able to stay relax and breathe.