What happens during an asthma attack?

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , /

Fifteen year old Chris is having a severe
asthma attack. His immune system has made what could be a fatal mistake (“I can’t breathe”) and is shutting down his airways. (“I really can’t breathe”) Without help from the medical team, Chris’ body may shut down completely (“I’m going to die”).
The breathing tubes in Chris’ chest are squeezing tightly shut, and filling with sticky mucus,
blocking his vital oxygen supply. If he is not treated soon, he will die. Here’s a really
life-threatening episode of asthma. Asthma is pretty common in our community, and most
of the time it’s not this life-threatening, but this one is quite serious. Chris’ allergic
reaction has tricked his immune system into shutting down his airways, blocking vital
oxygen to the rest of his body. The drugs are supposed to help the muscles around Chris’
airways to relax, but there is a problem. The mucus stops the drugs from reaching his blood supply. Time is running out – Chris’ body takes emergency action. His shoulders and neck muscles swing
into action to help inflate his lungs, but even this is not working. As the pressure
mounts, the team must find a treatment to get the drugs past the mucus. Chris is by
no means an isolated case. One in nine Australian children suffer from asthma, but for Chris
the situation is looking dangerous. Chris is currently having Ventolin or Salbutamol
through a nebuliser which is breathing into his lungs. This acts on the muscles around
the small airways and helps to open them up. Unfortunately sometimes when the airways are
very closed down, the Salbutamol doesn’t reach the areas that it needs to get to. If the inhaled
Ventolin is not working, then we often will go to a different form of medication – again
a relaxant for the muscles around the small airways, and it helps to open those airways
up, and it’s given as a one-off dose over about 10-15 minutes in severe asthma. Inside Chris’ body, the
airways start to open as the drugs take effect. Air finally returns to Chris’ lungs, inflating
the three hundred million tiny airsacs. At last, he can breathe. Chris seems to be feeling
a lot better now. The intravenous medication seem to have taken effect. He still is very
tired, because he’s been working very hard with his breathing, but we’re a lot happier
with his clinical progress now. Chris was admitted to intensive care for three days,
with a further three days in a medical ward before being sent home. He is now back at
school, playing soccer, and is aware that it is important to look after his asthma and
tell his teachers and family when he’s not well. Chris had always expected other people
to look after his asthma, but after this emergency, he now understands that he must recognise
when he is having asthma and follow his asthma action plan. Before leaving hospital, Chris
learned what asthma is, how to manage his triggers, what his medications do, and how
to use them correctly. Chris now uses a spacer to have his medication. He also learnt how
to recognise when his asthma was worse, and the need to follow his asthma action plan.
Chris has taken control of his asthma.

100 thoughts on “What happens during an asthma attack?

  1. People dont understand that them being able to breath on their own is a gift! I have athletic enduced asthma and i had an attack during a basketball game and no one knew what was going on and my parents were not at the game that day. But then someome from the crowd relized what was going on and went looking for my inhaler. I was then transported to the hospital….alot of people thinking i was gonna die but i got some help and was able to breath and get past my asthma attack. I was 9 at the time. Know 13 i know how hard i can push myself before i have to take my inhaler. Asthma killes 11 Americans each day. If you have a friend with asthma ASK where their inhaler is incase of emergency unless they go to school and they have to give it to the nurses. (I dont bc i can open carry mine but my sister cant) so if you know someome woth asthma and you want to learn more to help them…ASK them where their inhaler is and what kind of asthma they have. Ok im done rambling

  2. i have asthma attack every single night… it's not even intimidating anymore, just boring. it fucks up my sleeping schedule.

  3. What's with the twisty camera work like his condition is not been taking seriously?
    Also he felt like he was going to die and you permitted a camera to be jammed in his face???
    unless this is staged this is not right.

  4. They give you breathing treatments, and then they give you steroids. It feels pretty good, you get really tired. I could really just stop taking medicines, and just let go.

  5. The reason why this is really sad is because tobacco smokers love to smoke and stink up our nice clean air . And when we the people try to persuade them to quit because their lungs can close up just like this . They think it won’t happen to them

  6. I know how this kid feel because I have severe asthma and was on life support because I couldn't breathe on my own and no one knows how painful it is until they go through it their selfs

  7. My brother almost died when he was 3 i remember praying to god asking him pleace give it to me we moved all over for his health we tryed everything he does better in colder areas less alergeys he now is 20 working not using anything just his regular meds for it and is weight lifting that has helped him

  8. I guess I'm really lucky because I have asthma but I don't get asthma attack like his and it hasn't bother me for a couple of years.

  9. So they suppressed the symptom and call it a day. They never addressed the real cause of the problem. Just put him for lifetime on antispasmodic synthetic drug that is suppressing lung's ability to expectorate mucus. Lungs will never heal that way – they will just stay the same for ever. "Lets call it incurable or autoimmune and nobody will ask questions!"

  10. I had a major asthma attack today along with the flu. I kept using my Ventolin inhaler all day but no luck. I finally called 911 and called off work, didn't want to call off but they have a point system there and I was up in pints bc of my life asthma . I had asthma my whole life. It's like a fish out of water. No oxygen to the brain, every breath gets smaller and smaller, every cough gets more evil. If anyone wants to know what it's like just breath through a small coffee straw. Good Luck.

  11. In 2016 my sister in-law told us about Rich Herbs Foundation (ww w. richherbsfoundation. c om) and their successfully COPD treatment. We ordered the COPD Formula product after reading positive reviews from other patients who used the treatment, i am happy to report this COPD treatment reversed my lungs condition and damage. My quality of life has greatly improved and every one of my symptoms including difficulty breathing, Chronic cough and wheezing are gone. I will be 52 soon and have never been healthier.

  12. Asthma is the disease which affects the airways in which some allergic reactions cause irritation to the muscles around the airways and causes inflammation and increased mucus production which results in cough, shortness of breath. Now get the best homeopathy treatment for asthma with help of Homeocare International.

  13. i haye being looked like at like an alien when using my inhaler. like what are you looking at? it’s not my fault i can’t breath well without this.

  14. I am a bronchial asthma patient, can I give artificial respiration (mouth to mouth respiration) to a person with the breathing problems

  15. i wish cris was in zimbabwe he could get permanent cure within 3 days through using natural herbs from a tree

  16. At a new year's eve party, I didn't have my inhaler with me and I had a severe asthma attack and nearly passed out. I've been asthmatic for almost a decade now, but it had never gotten this bad. My mother was actually scared that I would die. I'm lucky that my inhaler works so well on me, things slowly started getting better once I used it a few times. Never forget your inhaler fellow asthmatics, wherever you go, even if you don't think your asthma will be triggered. You never know.

  17. I have asthma to but it before.now I never feel it again.because I Have effective medicine. A drop of menstrual blood in my mother in a large glass of warm tea is treated with her own birth canal.

  18. I only experience exercise-induced ashma usually. I always feel like i'm going to die. My way of preventing me from passing out usually consists of dropping onto the floor, coughing, and drinking water, and coughing. Obviously, I'm breathing heavily constantly trying to get in more breaths as I lay. I feel a bit drunk and light headed, also sleepy. Oddly enough, yawning over and over helps me for some reason, and I don't know why, but I feel like I'm yawning out the ashma somehow. Also, even more odd, yawning gets awakes me from the light headed state, and gradually after about 10-15 minutes, the hard breathing kinda stops. I honestly am probably going to go get a inhaler within the next few days. I love exercise, but this shit has stopped me from jogging cause just after 4 minutes, I'm having the ashma attack. Even more crazy, usually after it's over, then I'm allowed to jog, and can jog longer without experiencing the ashma. It's just really weird.

  19. Boy:has a serious asthma attack, is dying
    Paramedics:let's make a video 'bout this!:D
    Me: . . . Ok-k..🙄

  20. In the Northeastern US here…they gave me the shot first and then the mask. I have albuterol at home and a nebuliser if I need it.

  21. I almost died a few times when I was around his age. All they had then was the inhalers. It was cat dander that was setting it off. Deadly asthma, but also straightforward to avoid the dander.

  22. Asthma sucks ball man I have it myself and it has been such a bother (mine isn’t severe) but spring time is the worst time of the year for us… steroids are like our best friends

  23. I used to have these a lot till the age of 13 now I can't even remember how it went it's so weird

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  25. Young people who grow up suffering from asthma attacks may develop PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) which can adversely affect their futures in many ways. It would be wise to keep this in mind should problems occur eventually which may require therapy.

  26. my family isn't aware that asthma can be this serious. i just got a nebulizer this week. but my past asthma attacks lasted for 6-8 hours. because they will only give me water and confront me about how much many they spent on my check up :<

  27. I just had my first asthma attack today, it wasn't as bad as this but I couldn't breathe with my mouth and my nose just wouldn't do it I thought I was going to die I felt like fainting but they sent me to the school nurse I washed my face and drank water.

  28. Being short of breath would make any man scared as hell. I would choose to die by hunger that such attack.

  29. i had this happening to me when i was 4 years old its so scary to be an asthmatic like you know it can happen anytime

  30. This happened to me twice and doctors said I could die the second time

    I’m dead talking in spirit
    Uhahhhha…. I’m awake
    Omg it was just a dream 🥵

  31. Asthma is a Over active immune system (autoimmune diseases)

    BEST solution is to BALANCE the IMMUNE SYSTEM

  32. I am sad because those people died but I didn’t die I have asthma but I’m not dying and I went to hospital was like a little kid but I didn’t die

  33. I just found out I have asthma today. I got my prescription for a inhaler right away. It seems to be helping so far. It sucks cause sometimes I can’t breathe at night and I feel like crying

  34. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
    Drink water more and other liquid.
    Take ample sun shine. God sun is our life giver. Worship God sun.
    Walk more.Take deep breathing.
    Never eat junk ,oily,fried foods.
    Avoid eating meat.
    You can protect yourselves from cancer and heart disease.
    Great Indian vegetarians food.

  35. I got asthma in my late 20’s because of GERD, it literally feels like someone is squeezing with both hands your traquea and esophagus! It’s one of the most horrible feelings I’ve experience!

  36. If you have asthma blame pollution and the food you eat.
    Processed food is killing you, its full of inflamitaries and allergens. Everything you by from the store is 70% processed food.
    Corporations are feeding you crap.
    Eat fresh, eat natural anti inflammatory foods.

  37. Thank goodness for a great health care system. Couldn't count on this level of care in the US, particularly if one doesn't have private insurance.

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