Watching someone lose control of their breathing is nerve-racking, and although most asthmatics know what to do when they begin having asthma problems, you will want to help out as much as possible. The following is a guide to helping someone that is having an asthma attack.
- Immediately move the person to a different area. The asthma attack may have been triggered by nearby chemicals, smoke, paint fumes or other smells or irritants. If indoors, move the person outdoors where the air will be cleaner.
- If the person having the asthma attack is standing up, make sure he or she sits down. Do not let the person lie down. It is much easier to breath when in an upright sitting position. This is due to the fact that there is less pressure on the diaphragm when in a sitting position, allowing the person having the asthma attack to open up their lungs more as well as save energy.
- Ask the person if he or she has an emergency asthma inhaler. Most asthmatics carry an inhaler with them in the case of an emergency. If the person is having too much trouble to respond, try to locate the inhaler on them. If another person nearby has an inhaler that is the same type (and the person having the attack can confirm it) then you can use it instead.
- If the person having the asthma attack cannot take the inhaler by him or herself, then hold the inhaler a few inches away from his or her mouth and spray it in. Wait a few seconds before spraying again, and be sure not to deliver more than four puffs.
- If the person does not have access to an emergency inhaler, then be sure to keep him or her calm. Panicking can make the attack much worse, so calm the person down as much as possible and help him or her concentrate on breathing.
- Asthma attacks can often occur as a result of dehydration. Give the person a glass of water and make sure he or she drinks the entire glass.
- Allow the person having the asthma attack to a cough. Constant coughing can seem scary and unnatural, but don’t try to suppress it. Coughing is often the result of the lungs attempting to get more air in, and it helps to clear any mucus in the throat that is preventing air from passing through.
- Give the person a cup of coffee or a cup of tea. Hot drinks can help relax the throat muscles. The caffeine in coffee and tea will also help to open up the airways, making it easier for the person to breath.
- When boiling water in order to make coffee or tea, let the person inhale the water vapor. You can also turn the hot water on in the shower. Hot water vapor is also very beneficial to helping open up the airways.
- If the person’s asthma is getting worse, then you are either going to have to take that person to the emergency room or call an ambulance.
Watching a person suffering from an asthma attack can be a scary experience, especially if you don’t know what to do. Following these steps will allow you to help out as much as possible.
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