First aid for asthma
What is asthma?
Asthma is a never-ending, inflammatory disease in which the airways become sensitive to allergens (any substance that triggers an allergic reaction). Several things occur to the airways when an individual is exposed to certain triggers. The inside layer of the airways become swollen and inflamed. The muscles that envelop the airways tighten. The manufacture of mucus is increased, leading to mucus plugs. All of these factors will cause the airways to thin, thus making it difficult for air to go in and out of your lungs, showing the symptoms of asthma. Most of the people with asthma have extra- sensitive airways. Triggers like dust, pollens, animals, tobacco smoke and work out may make their airways swell and contracted, causing wheeze, cough and difficulty in breathing. Make the person sit comfortably upright. Be calm and supportive to him.
Method to control:
Give 4 puffs of a blue Reliever inhaler- Ventolin, Airomir, Bricanyl, or Asmol. Relievers are most excellent given through a spacer, if accessible. Use 1 puff at a time and make the person to take 4 breaths from the spacer after each puff. Use the person's individual inhaler if possible. If not, use the First Aid kit inhaler or make use of one from someone else. Wait for four minutes. If there is no progress, give another 4 puffs. If there is little or no improvement, call an ambulance immediately and state that the person is having an asthma attack. Keep giving 4 puffs every 4 minutes until the ambulance arrives. For children 4 puffs each time is a safe dose. For adults 6 - 8 puffs every 5 minutes may be given for a severe attack while waiting for the ambulance. Shake inhaler well and insert mouthpiece into spacer. Place spacer mouthpiece in person's mouth and give 1puff. Give one puff as the person inhales gradually and steadily. Ask the person to breathe in and out normally for about four breaths. Ask the person to hold breath for 4 seconds, and then take four normal breaths. Repeat it until four puffs have been given. No harm will result by giving a Reliever to someone who does not have asthma.
With this in mind it is essential to have adequate knowledge and understanding of how to take action when such a situation arises. Asthma may be like other respiratory problems such as emphysema, bronchitis, and lower respiratory infections. It is a lot under-diagnosed and many people with the infection do not know they have it. Although all care has to be taken, this is a general guide only which is not intended to be a substitute for individual medical advice or treatment.
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