Asthma

It is a chronic inflammatory disorder of airway . In this person experiences recurrent episodes of wheezing , breathlessness , chest tightness and cough particularly at night or in the morning .

Things the trigger Asthma

  • Exercise
  • Pollen allergy
  • Cough variant asthma – does not have the classic symptoms of asthma such as wheezing or shortness of breath but has dry cough.
  • Exercise induced – affects the person during physical exercise
  • Nocturnal – when the symptoms get worsen by night
  • Occupational asthma – induced by things that might exist in person’s workplace like wood work or farming

Symptoms

  • Difficulty with breathing (particularly breathing out).
  • A wheezing sound on breathing out.
  • Increased breathing rate.
  • Increased pulse rate.
  • Speaking in single words or short sentences.
  • Increasing anxiety and restlessness.
  • If the attack is very severe or prolonged, the casualty will become very tired and, in extreme cases, he/she collapses into unconsciousness.

Treatment

  • Help the casualty to sit down and lean forward on to a table or similar support. It may be more comfortable.
  • Wherever possible, provide fresh air for the casualty.
  • Assist the casualty to use his/her inhaler.
  • Loosen any tight clothing.
  • Encourage the casualty to keep calm and to take even breaths.

When to call for help

Frequent sufferers of asthma attacks will often manage their own treatment and require little or no assistance. However, those who are not familiar with their condition or who, for some reason, have a more serious attack than usual, will generally require medical help.

If the casualty is exhausted ,send for an ambulance without delay; this also applies if breathing is very distresses. For less serious attacks, be guided by the casualty. If you call for medical assistance, wait for the doctor in case the casualty becomes worse.

In the event of an asthma attack in the street or away from home, call for an ambulance rather than letting the casualty return home to call his/her doctor.

When to call an Ambulance

  • If the casualty is exhausted.
  • If the casualty’s usual medication does not work.
  • If the casualty’s breathing is very distressed.
  • If you cannot contact the casualty’s doctor.

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