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First Aid Tips

What to look for - Asthma attacks

If you think someone is having an asthma attack, these are the five key things to look for:

1. Difficulty breathing or speaking2. Wheezing3. Coughing4. Distress5. Grey-blue tinge to the lips, earlobes and nailbeds (known as cyanosis).

What you need to do - Asthma attacks

• First, reassure them and ask them to breathe slowly and deeply which will help them control their breathing.

• Then help them use their reliever inhaler straight away. This should relieve the attack.

• Next, sit them down in a comfortable position.

• If it doesn’t get better within a few minutes, it may be a severe attack. Get them to take one or two puffs of their inhaler every two minutes, until they’ve had 10 puffs.

• If the attack is severe and they are getting worse or becoming exhausted, or if this is their first attack, then call 999/112 for an ambulance.

• Help them to keep using their inhaler if they need to. Keep checking their breathing, pulse and level of response.

• If they lose responsiveness at any point, open their airway, check their breathing and prepare to treat someone who’s become unresponsive.

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