Asthma is an increasingly common respiratory disorder that can be triggered by allergy, exertion, cigarette smoke, respiratory infection or by emotional factors. The casualty will experience increasing tightness in the chest and difficulty in breathing as the air passages constrict.
Breathing is characterized by wheezing, which may be audible as a whistling sound, particularly when the casualty breathes out. Most asthma sufferers cope well with the problem, and will usually be aware of the onset of an attack and take appropriate medication, usually in the form of inhalers.
However, if it is the casualty's first attack and he or she does not have medication, or if medication has been taken but without any response, it is essential that medical help is summoned immediately as asthma can be fatal.
Symptoms of an Asthmatic Attack
1. Difficulty in breathing, wheezing, anxiety and difficulty in speaking.
2. Blue is appearance to the face, especially around the lips.
To Treat an Attack of Asthma
1. Sit the casualty in a comfortable position, encourage him or her to lean forward slightly with the arms supported, if possible.
2. Encourage the casualty to take slow, deep breaths.
3. Reassure the casualty and encourage him or her to take his or her medication (inhaler).
4. If there has been no response to the inhaler within 10 to 15 minutes, or if the casualty becomes drowsy or begins to go blue around the lips, telephone for an ambulance immediately