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:

  • Breathlessness
  • Wheezing
  • 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.

For Bricanyl or Symbicort

For Salbutamol (eg. Ventolin or Asmol)

Order an Asthma First Aid wallet card

Our Asthma First Aid wallet card is the size of a standard business card. The perfect fit for your wallet or purse! Features step by step instructions on what to do in an asthma emergency.

To receive a copy by post* simply complete the form below.

  • *We can only post our Asthma First Aid Cards to Western Australian addresses.
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