Recognizing An Asthma Attack
What to do if an asthma attack occurs? And how to recognize it? This information must be written in your Individual Asthma Action Plan. Treatment of a bronchial asthma attack usually consists of taking one or more doses of an emergency drug.
If the condition continues to worsen, the person must be hospitalized. The hospital uses oxygen, emergency medications (rapid-acting bronchodilators), and supportive care medications to bring asthma back under control. After an asthma attack develops, the individual action plan needs to be reviewed. The doctor must determine the cause of the deterioration and adjust treatment.
What are the signs and symptoms of an asthma attack?
The signs that an asthma attack is approaching are different for everyone because every organism is different. But there are gen-eral symptoms, knowing which you can predict the approach of seizures:
- skin discoloration (hands and face) – a bluish tint;
- increased sweating;
- wheezing is clearly heard when breathing;
- frequent “barking” cough with little or no sputum;
- sputum separation, after which the attack subsides.
The harbingers of a non-allergic attack are also cough, general weakness, and headache. It often happens that it is difficult for physicians to detect the irritant that caused the attack. But asthmatics who have been living with this problem for a long time can diagnose an approaching asthmatic attack by their own feelings.
The attack is characterized by active onset suffocation, arising from bronchospasm. The duration of the acute condition varies from three minutes to 5 hours.
How to stop an asthma attack?
First aid for an attack of bronchial asthma should be done quickly and efficiently. Otherwise, the deterioration of the patient’s condition may lead to an increase in the frequency of attacks and an increase in their intensity. Even if a person does not know the correct sequence of actions, it is necessary to try to calm the patient down and call an ambulance faster than the condition wors-ens.
There is a special algorithm for the provision of assistance responsible for relieving the symptoms of the disease. Compliance with these recommendations during an attack of bronchial asthma will help normalize asthma in general.
The following actions reduce an attack of suffocation in bronchial asthma:
- First, try to calm down and help the asthmatic to breathe as the ability to stop an asthma attack depends on relaxing and calming the asthmatic;
- The second thing to do is to open the window so that the room is quickly filled with fresh humidified air;
- It is necessary to help the asthmatic to take the correct position in space. The person should be sitting. The patient can stand, leaning against the wall, but in no case should the supine position be allowed. The patient can also be lying on his/her side;
- The head of the asthmatic should be tilted slightly downward, which will help him or her to breathe normally and not to choke on the quickly passing phlegm;
- It is necessary to eliminate everything that interferes with calm and measured breathing – tie knock, jewelry, tight collar;
- Remove the allergen if it is known for certain;
- There is a way to provoke the release of the spasm with a painful blow to the knees or elbows. Shock in the joints will develop a nervous spasm and enlarge the bronchi. Preparing a special warm bath for the limbs can also help. But this is possible only if the patient has not eaten anything, and there is no food in the respiratory tract;
- If an asthmatic person has medications for quick relief of a bronchial asthma attack, as well as an inhalation device, it is important to use them urgently, but strictly observing the dosage prescribed by the doctor. To stop the attack, the inhaler is recommended to be used every 20-25 minutes.
In the case when a person does not have an inhaler that can help him or her overcome the attack, or if it is not possible to stop the attack, it is necessary to call an ambulance, where experienced doctors will inform you what actions should be taken and how to alleviate the condition before their arrival.