Emergency Steps for Severe Asthma Attacks
With 1 out of every 12 Americans being diagnosed with asthma yearly, education about asthma and how to manage it properly is more important than ever. Although asthma is a common condition in American society with all types of people living with it every day, asthma attacks are serious and can be fatal.
Recognizing Symptoms of Asthma Attacks
Typically, those with asthma are aware of how to manage minor to moderate asthma attacks properly. However, when asthma attacks become severe, minutes could mean life or death. Symptoms of an emergency asthma attack are dramatic and easily recognized apart from a normal asthma attack.
Symptoms of a Mild Asthma Attack are:
- Tightening of chest and airways
Symptoms of an Emergency Asthma Attack include:
- Lips and Fingernails have bluish tint
- Difficulty performing daily activities
- Breathlessness when not in motion
- Unaffected by rescues inhaler
Assess Your Asthma Symptoms
For those who are living with asthma, creating an emergency asthma attack procedure can be a pertinent life-saving tool. In culmination with your doctor, begin to set a plan to assess your symptoms on a daily basis. This will help understand what triggers your asthma and learn to be aware when your body is experiencing a serious asthma attack. The assessment is split into three parts:
- Green Zone: When one is in his or her green zone, all asthma symptoms are gone or managed by a daily medicine. Daily activities of life can be done normally without any problems.
- Yellow Zone: One is experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of asthma when in the yellow zone. The asthma symptoms may be worsening; however, the rescue inhaler and time to rest usually alleviate asthma.
- Red Zone: The red zone indicates a serious asthma attack with symptoms pointing to an emergency. At this point, it is important to follow a written emergency asthma attack plan and call 9-1-1.
Emergency Steps During Severe Asthma Attacks
During the display of these symptoms, time is of the essence. To begin creating a step-by-step emergency asthma attack plan, including a simple 4-step procedure could be the key to saving a life:
- Place the person in an upright position. It is important to be calm and reassuring. The person is likely to be frightened and upset, so do not leave the person alone.
- Find the person’s rescue inhaler and shake the inhaler. Instruct the person to inhale 6-8 puffs with enough time to take deep rhythmic breaths after each puff.
- If the person’s emergency asthma symptoms are not subsiding, begin the 6-8 puff regime again.
- Call an ambulance immediately. Continue 6-8 puff regime until medical help arrives.
Although the steps above are standard for a severe asthma attack, keep in mind each person’s asthma is different. Therefore, each plan must be tailored to the individual. Excess steps may include a personalized regime of medication or physical comforting. Along with the step-by-step procedure, include updated written medical information in the emergency plan for medical professionals, such as:
- Full name
- Name and number of your regular physician
- Name and number of the local hospital
- List of all prescribed medication taken regularly including asthma medication
- List of your asthma triggers
- List of your common and severe asthma symptoms
Ensure the plan is kept at an easily accessible location in your residence. It is critical family, roommates and trusted friends be aware of the location of the emergency asthma attack plan and can administer help if necessary. Because the severity of asthma attacks is high, it is important a person can help you properly when you cannot help yourself. Statistics show more asthma-related deaths occur before the arrival of medical attention because of the lack of knowledge.
Being prepared for the worst is the smartest plan one can have when managing a medical condition.