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Asthma Attacks – Updated Guidence

If you, or someone you know, are having an asthma attack, follow this emergency advice.

You’re having an asthma attack if any of the following happens:

  • Your reliever isn’t helping or lasting over four hours
  • Your symptoms are getting worse (cough, breathlessness, wheeze or tight chest)
  • You’re too breathless or it’s difficult to speak, eat or sleep
  • Your breathing is getting faster and it feels like you can’t get your breath in properly.

Don’t be afraid of causing a fuss, even at night. It’s important that you seek help straight away.

If you go to A&E (Accident and Emergency) or are admitted to hospital, if possible take your written asthma action plan with you so staff can see details of your asthma medicines.

What to do in an asthma attack

  1. Sit up straight – don’t lie down. Try to keep calm.
  2. Take one puff of your reliever inhaler (usually blue) every 30-60 seconds, up to a maximum of 10 puffs.
  3. If you feel worse at any point while you’re using your inhaler or you don’t feel better after 10 puffs or you’re worried at any time, call 999 for an ambulance.
  4. If the ambulance is taking longer than 15 minutes you can repeat step 2.

IMPORTANT! This asthma attack information is not designed for people on a SMART or MART regime. If you are on a SMART or MART regime, please speak to your GP or asthma nurse to get the correct asthma attack information.

Visit the Asthma UK site HERE

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