Bronchial asthma is a serious chronic disease that can occur for various reasons. With bronchospasm, a person can easily suffocate if he is not provided with medical care. Of course, every asthmatic should have a special inhaler that can stop the symptoms, but it also happens that there is no medicine at hand. If there is a sick person in your family, you must know how to properly provide emergency care for an attack of bronchial asthma.
How to distinguish an attack of bronchospasm?
To learn how to provide emergency care for an attack of bronchial asthma, you must first understand how to distinguish an attack from the usual symptoms of the disease. For example, most often bronchospasm appears at night or at dawn, when the patient is in a supine position for a long time. Various allergens can also provoke an attack if bronchial asthma is an allergic type. In the latter case, it will be enough to isolate the patient from the irritant, as well as take an antihistamine.
The following symptoms may also accompany an attack of bronchospasm:
- a sense of contraction in the chest region is the main harbinger of asthma;
- sensation of itching in the nasal flow - is not typical for all forms of the disease;
- lethargy and loss of strength - observed during and after an attack;
- panting with characteristic whistles during exhalation;
- painful separation of sputum from the lungs.
If a person does not receive first aid during the period of exacerbation of symptoms, then he may suffocate, especially if asthma is caused by an allergy to some object. Deterioration occurs about a couple of days after the first attacks. Although the symptoms can worsen much faster - it all depends on the individual characteristics of the body. If you can’t stop the attack with your own hands, immediately contact the nearest hospital or call an ambulance.
Children's attack of bronchial asthma
Emergency first aid is a very important topic that every adult with an asthmatic should be familiar with. This is especially true if it is a sick child. If emergency care for an attack of bronchial asthma in children is not provided on time, then babies can easily suffocate in a dream. Therefore, it is worth knowing the symptoms by which you can recognize an attack in a child:
- persistent barking cough with characteristic whistles and sputum production;
- increase in blood pressure (a device for measurement is required);
- pain in the chest;
- wheezing at each exhalation and inhalation;
- profuse sweating;
- increased shortness of breath.
Also, in some cases, blueness of the skin in the region of the lips may be observed. The most dangerous symptom in an asthma attack is choking, which can cause a lack of oxygen in the blood. If such a symptom is observed, then the child should be given immediate help to restore breathing. Also, do not forget about the work of the heart, since during an attack this organ works with a double load.
First aid for asthmatics
Decided to learn how to provide emergency care for asthma? An attack of suffocation can be caused by a variety of reasons. Therefore, the first thing to do is to understand why the disease has exacerbated at the moment. This is especially true for those asthmatics who are allergic to some object (pollen, dust mites, food, and so on). If there are antihistamines in the medicine cabinet, they should be given to the patient immediately, after which the person’s contact with the allergen should be limited.
If the victim can walk, it is also recommended that he be taken to fresh air, if not, just sit him near the window and open the window. It is necessary to put the patient with an inclination forward, since a lying position leads to the fact that the airways narrow even more. In addition, each asthmatic should have a special inhaler with a medicine (salbutamol sulfate or another) with him or in his home medicine cabinet. Be sure to give the patient a couple of doses.
To make it easier for our readers to understand the material, we decided to draw up a special algorithm of actions, according to which asthmatics should be given emergency care during an attack. There is nothing complicated in the described actions and even a person who does not have experience in medicine can cope with them. So, the emergency care algorithm for an attack of bronchial asthma should look like this.
- We call the ambulance and describe the condition of the patient, as well as his age.
- We identify and remove the source that provoked the attack (if any).
- We sit the patient in a comfortable position on a hard surface.
- We unfasten the tight clothing on the chest and provide access to oxygen.
- We reassure the patient in order to prevent a panic attack.
- We are considering the use of aerosol.
Of course, for some people, such manipulations may seem very primitive, but it is precisely these manipulations that make it possible to greatly facilitate the work of doctors, and possibly save the patient's life. If you follow all the steps from the algorithm correctly, then after 15 minutes the patient’s condition will noticeably improve. Your task is to prevent panic, because fear leads to an increase in heart rate and a person begins to suffocate even more.
How to stop an attack in a hospital?
Thinking about how they provide emergency care for an attack of bronchial asthma in a clinic? You will be surprised, but the only difference is that the aerosol is used only in the most emergency cases (to prevent addiction to the drug). As in the described algorithm, the doctor or nurse first of all puts the patient in a comfortable position and removes his outer clothing from him. After this, the healthcare provider can give the patient a glass of warm water or another drink to prevent panic. If the attack is serious, then you can not do without medication. In medical institutions, there are not only inhalers, but also other ways for the active substance to enter the patient’s blood.
Medications for an asthma attack
Emergency medical care for an attack of bronchial asthma also includes the use of various medications that are prescribed only by a qualified specialist. A small list of these tools can be found in the list below.
- Injection As a rule, they are used in the form of an aqueous suspension or a solution of adrenaline. After such an injection, the muscles noticeably relax, and also the bronchi expand. However, such drugs are highly not recommended for people with heart disease.
- Intravenous administration of corticosteroids. These hormonal substances have antihistamine properties and relieve bronchial puffiness. Most often prescribed to allergy sufferers whose attack was triggered by some allergen.
- Oxygen inhalation. This method allows to achieve liquefaction of sputum in the lungs and expansion of spasms without the use of any drugs that cause dependence. However, a significant drawback is that after inhalation, the patient begins to cough.
In addition, do not forget about conventional inhalers, the active substance in which is salbutamol. Such a tool is most often used in clinics, and they resort to all the others only if the patient has developed immunity to the drug, or if the attack is very strong.
The risk of developing a disease in a child
A child is at risk of developing bronchial asthma in the same way as an adult. Signs of the disease can begin to manifest at any age. Initially, they are quite simple to confuse with a common cold or bronchitis, however, if you had asthmatics in your family, then you should understand that this disease is very often inherited.
The main problem in the development of asthma in children is not even bronchospasm, but swelling of the mucous membrane, which cannot be eliminated even with an inhaler. That is why experts strongly do not recommend self-medication of their child. If the parent does not go to the hospital on time, then the baby can become much worse.
Emergency care for children
And what should the emergency action algorithm look like in case of an attack of bronchial asthma in children? As a rule, it is not much different from an "adult", but you should take into account the fact that you have a developing organism in front of you and you need to handle it as carefully as possible.
- We sit the baby comfortably.
- We give a combined preparation for asthma.
- We reassure the baby in all possible ways.
- We make the baby warm baths for the feet and hands.
- We provide access to fresh air.
The condition of a small patient should normalize within half an hour. If this does not happen, you should immediately seek help from a medical institution or call an ambulance.
To exclude the development of asthma attacks, doctors recommend that you follow these tips:
- avoid contact with various allergens that cause an attack;
- carry out wet cleaning daily in a room with ventilation;
- monitor the composition of products that contain allergens;
- engage in physical education;
- give up bad habits.
In addition, you should not forget to visit your doctor at least once every few months to prevent the development of bronchial asthma.
We hope our article helped you figure out how to help the patient in case of an attack of bronchial asthma. The emergency algorithm can also be found in a short video, which we strongly recommend that all people, among whom we know have asthmatics, are familiar with viewing. There are several points in this video that were not included in the article, but are very relevant. For example, what should be done if a patient begins to lose consciousness due to a lack of oxygen? All information is provided quite clearly, much is shown by example.
Asthma is a very insidious disease that can make itself felt at the most inopportune moment. Of course, any asthmatic should always carry an inhaler with a medicine, but, unfortunately, many neglect this important rule. In the event that your friend has had an attack, and there was no inhaler at hand, do not panic. The usual actions described in our article will help to significantly alleviate the patient’s condition and wait for the ambulance to arrive. Perhaps, thanks to the knowledge gained, you will one day be able to save the life of a loved one. We wish you and your loved ones good health!