Managing asthma emergencies
An asthma flare-up can happen to anyone with asthma at any time. They can build slowly over time or quickly in a matter of minutes – some people call this an asthma attack. Asthma flare-ups can also develop more slowly (over hours to days or even weeks).
Asthma first aid can save someone’s life – do not wait until asthma is severe to start first aid. Every second counts.
Begin asthma first aid if a person has asthma symptoms of:
- Tight chest
- Persistent cough
Call an ambulance (dial 000) when the symptoms become severe or life-threatening. Symptoms may include:
- Difficulty breathing such as gasping for breath
- Pale/sweaty/blue lips
- May be confused or exhausted, distressed and panicky
- Inability to speak more than one or two words per breath
- Sucking in of skin over ribs/throat (tracheal tug) in children
- No or little response to reliever medication
Asthma First Aid
If you or someone you know is experiencing an asthma flare-up, even if only mild, commence Asthma First Aid immediately.