Asthma Symptoms and Ventolin Use

Due to the subject matter of some recent postings, I thought it would be handy/useful to post up AUK's own advice on asthma attacks/symptoms.

Obviously if you have your own asthma attack action plan you should follow your own plan, but there are quite a few people who don't have plans who may find the advice useful.

You are having an asthma attack if any of the following happen:

* Your reliever does not help symptoms

* Your symptoms are getting worse (cough, breathlessness, wheeze or tight chest)

* You are too breathless to speak, eat or sleep

Do not be afraid of causing a fuss, even at night. If you are admitted to hospital or an accident and emergency department because of your asthma, take details of your medicines with you.

Recommended steps

The following guidelines are suitable for both children and adults and are the recommended steps to follow in an asthma attack:

1. Take your reliever inhaler (usually blue), immediately

2. Sit down and ensure that any tight clothing is loosened. Do not lie down

3. If no immediate improvement during an attack, continue to take one puff of your reliever inhaler every minute for five minutes or until symptoms improve

4. If your symptoms do not improve in five minutes – or you are in doubt – call 999 or a doctor urgently

5. Continue to take one puff of your reliever inhaler every minute until help arrives.

4 Replies

  • Bumpity Bump!

    (Good post / info!, thanks Cathy)

  • bump!

  • bump

  • thanks for this CathBear.

    By way of a bump and a comment, many (many) years ago when I was working in A and E a very irate (and wheezy) man came in asking for a new ventolin inhaler because his wasn't working. He was absolutely convinced that Allen and Hanbury had done something wrong in the manufacture, or skimped on the active ingredient, as he was getting no relief at all from more or less a whole canister. He was not at all interested in the alternative explanation that his asthma might be getting worse, though we persuaded him to come in in the end as he was really unwell. He went off to the ward muttering about sueing drug companies......

    Having said which, I do understand that when the ventolin stops working, it somehow _feels_ as if the wretched stuff has been diluted!

    Thanks again for your prompt and helpful info


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