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How to Provide First Aid for Patients Dealing with Asthma Attacks?


An asthma attack, also known as bronchial asthma, is a disorder in which an individual’s airway becomes inflamed and narrows, making breathing difficult. As a result, the airway generates more mucus, obstructing airflow into and out of the lungs. Furthermore, an asthma episode causes the muscles around the throat to contract, a condition known as bronchospasm. Some asthma attacks are modest, while others are potentially fatal.

You can take the online First Aid training course from American HealthCare Academy to prepare to handle asthma-related emergencies. Our nationally accepted free CPR classes and First Aid course contains safety considerations that are demonstrated through demos, visuals, and examples. When done in combination with First Aid, how long does CPR certification last? The online CPR and First Aid certification is valid for two years.

asthma attack first aid
First Aid for Asthma Attack

Symptoms of Asthma 

It is critical to recognize the symptoms of an asthma attack as soon as possible and to begin treatment. The symptoms of asthma are:

  • a persistent cough
  • discomfort and tightness around the chest
  • rapid breathing
  • tightness in the chest
  • paleness and difficulty walking
  • anxiety/panic
  • perspiration and bluish fingernails

Causes of Asthma

The most prevalent asthma triggers range from person to person. When an asthmatic airway encounters an allergen, it becomes irritated and filled with mucus. The following are common causes of asthma attacks:

1. Allergies

Allergies are the most well-known causes of asthma. Most asthmatics are allergic to dust mites, mold, cockroach droppings, animal dander, and weed pollen. 

2. Allergies to foods

Food allergies can cause anaphylaxis, a severe asthmatic reaction. The situation can become critical and could result in death. An anaphylactic reaction should be treated with an epinephrine shot, which should improve the victim’s condition within minutes. If it does not work within an hour, consult the doctor immediately.

3. Exercise 

A bigger proportion of asthmatics have an episode following a vigorous workout. The attack will most likely occur during the first ten minutes of the workout. It may also occur four to six hours following the workout session. People with workout asthma should see their doctor about the best physical activities for them.

4. Weather change

Weather changes, such as temperature and humidity, can trigger asthma attacks in persons who have a history of asthma attacks.

5. Food additives

Food processing substances such as sodium sulfites, sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and potassium bisulfite are examples of food additives that may cause asthma.

Asthma Attacks: First Aid for Asthma Patients

When you come across a person who is suffering from an asthma attack and having breathing difficulties, first aid should be given. Dial 911 if required. It is important to take rapid action since the victim’s condition can rapidly deteriorate. Following are the first aid steps for asthma patients:

  • Allow the victim to sit in a comfortable position first.
  • Remove any restrictive garments.
  • Allow the victim to use their inhaler right away if they have one.
  • If an inhaler is not available, use a first-aid kit inhaler.
  • Do not use someone else’s inhaler.
How to Treat an Asthma Attack Without an Inhaler
1. Sit straight and uptight

It is critical to maintain as much upright posture as possible. This will allow your airways to open and your lungs to breathe in as much air as possible. Sit down if necessary but sit up straight.

2. Identify triggers of asthma

If you are in this position and anything specific is provoking an asthma attack (for example, cigarette smoke or dust), go as far away from it as possible. Move the trigger to a different location or remove it entirely. This will assist to prevent your asthma from worsening.

3. Drink a Caffeinated Hot Drink 

If you or a loved one is suffering from an asthma attack and do not have an inhaler, hot coffee or tea can help relieve some of the symptoms. If you can, sip some to gently open your airways and gain some comfort. While caffeine should never be taken in place of prescription asthma medicine, studies have shown that the caffeine in 3-4 cups of coffee, for example, can provide asthma relief for a couple of hours without the use of an inhaler.

4. Dial 911 when needed

A startling proportion of people put off getting emergency medical assistance when they need it because they are afraid that their symptoms will go away before an ambulance arrives or that their sickness will be insignificant. Do not put off dialing 911 or going to the emergency room if you believe you need it. It’s better to be cautious than sorry!


Are you ready to be a Certified First Responder? If so, then our First Aid course is right for you. Our First Aid certification will teach you how to save a life when someone suffers an asthma attack. Enroll now on our website or get in touch with our team at 1-888-277-7865 today!