With Asthma Week set to take place from September 1-7, pharmacist Feras Karem has issued some key tips on how to handle a severe ashtma attack.
The respiratory condition affects 2.5 million people in Australia, resulting in around 400 deaths and 39,500 hospitalisations every year.
More than half (52 per cent) of hospitalisations relating to asthma involve children aged up to 14.
Asthma is a condition in which a person's airways become inflamed, narrow and swell, and produce extra mucus, which makes it difficult to breathe.
Symptoms include a cough, wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness, and can vary in severity from person to person.
Four key steps
The pharmacist and chief executive of Pharmacy 4 Less said four key steps could be taken in the event of an emergency:
- Sit the person suffering the attack upright. While assisting them, remain calm and do not leave them alone.
- Give four separate puffs of the blue/grey reliever puffer. Make sure to shake the puffer before use, put one puff into the spacer, take four breaths from the spacer and repeat until four puffs have been taken.
- Wait four minutes and if there is no improvement, give four more puffs of the inhaler.
- If there is still no improvement, call 000 urgently.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a severe or life- threatening attack, call an ambulance first and then begin first aid.
A range of useful information can be found on the Asthma Australia website here.