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First Aid Treatment: What To Do When Someone Has An Asthma Attack

Asthma is a medical condition in which the airways in the body i.e Mouth, Nostrils and lungs become swollen and narrow, thereby triggering coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

It is a very common ailment in Nigeria, with about 1.5million cases yearly. It is a chronic illness that can last for about 6years or lifelong.

Recognition: Asthma is easily recognizable through the following signs

* Difficulty in breathing

* Wheezing

* Difficulty in speaking

* Grey - blue skin

* Dry, tickly cough

What To Do : When dealing with someone who is having an asthma attack, do the following:

1. MAKE THE PATIENT COMFORTABLE: This is done by calmly and gently asking the patient to stay calm. Reassure the sufferer that everything will be fine.

Place the patient in a sitting position, make sure the patient is comfortable in that position. Sitting slightly forward, with the back bent forward a little, is usually the best.

Tell the patient to try taking slow and deep breaths, periodically.

2. USE AN INHALER: You should help the patient to locate his/her reliver inhaler (It is mostly blue in colour)

Let the patient use the inhaler. It should be effective within minutes.

3. ENCOURAGE THE PATIENT TO BREATHE SLOWLY: if the attack stops in 5 -10 minutes, encourage the patient to take another dose of his/her inhaler, and to breathe slowly and deeply

If it is a first attack, inform a doctor.

Warning: The following should be avoided while attending to a patient

* Do not lay the casualty/patient down

* Do not use a preventer inhaler

* If the patient falls unconscious, be prepared to resuscitate if necessary ( I'll write on this in my next article)

* If the inhaler has no effect after 5-10 minutes, call a doctor or an ambulance

* Ask the patient to use his/her inhaler every 5 - 10 minutes

Expect further first aid articles from me.

Thanks for reading

Content created and supplied by: Stella's (via Opera News )

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