How to Treat an Asthma Attack – First Aid Training – St John Ambulance

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

In an asthma attack, the muscles of the air
passages in the lungs go into spasm. This makes the airways narrower, making it
difficult to breathe. This can be triggered by an allergy, a cold,
or smoke. At other times, someone may have a sudden
attack with no obvious trigger. If you think someone is having an asthma attack,
there are five things you may see: They may have difficulty breathing or
speaking They may be wheezing
They may be coughing a lot They may be distressed and anxious
They may have a grey-blue tinge to the lips, their earlobes or their nailbeds. People with asthma usually know how to deal with their own attacks by using their reliever inhaler usually with a blue cap
– at the first sign of an attack. But if they don’t, or if the attack is severe,
you may need to help. When treating someone having an asthma attack,
keep calm, reassure them and advise them to use their reliever inhaler straight away. Advise them to use a spacer if they have one. Ask them to breathe slowly and deeply to help
them control their breathing. 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 this is their first attack, the attack
is severe, they are not getting better, they are getting worse or they are becoming exhausted,
call 999/112 for emergency help. Help them to continue to use their inhaler
as needed. Keep checking their breathing, pulse and level
of response. If they do become unresponsive at any time,
treat a casualty who is unresponsive. So remember, reassure them. Help them to use their reliever inhaler. If the attack is severe call 999/112 for emergency
help and monitor their level of response. If they become unresponsive treat as an unresponsive
casualty. And that’s how we help someone with an asthma attack. If this video has been helpful to you, help
support St John Ambulance by going to

10 thoughts on “How to Treat an Asthma Attack – First Aid Training – St John Ambulance

  1. I had an asthma attack after running laps during PE. Yesterday my asthma was acting up but you have to run. You HAVE to! If you don't run and you don't have a note then they tell at you to run. So I ran and when we were lining up I started wheezing coughing and having trouble breathing. The kid in front of me asked if I had asthma and I nodded. My friend went up to the PE teacher and instead of sending me to get my inhaler do you know what she told me to do? She told me to breathe through my nose! Like lady I'm breathing through my mouth bc I CANT breathe through my nose! Long story short it lasted the entire PE and I was never sent to get my inhaler…

  2. I have asthma attacks quite often, and I'm telling you, it is not fun. It hurts so bad, and I feel like i'm gonna die for a split second, so this video is reaalllyyy important.

  3. I love these vids, they are so useful
    For reviewing my St Johns AFA , however the technique demonstrated by the girl is veru poor and not help very much…

  4. Okay, but remember that when a person uses a spacer, they need to take 3-4 breaths through it in order to receive the full amount of medication. Also if the spacer whistles, they're breathing too fast.

  5. i barely use my medicines to be honest even tho i get sympthoms….. i mostly take my meds once or twice a week. i should take them everyday as prescribed

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