Emergency First Aid for an Asthma Attack

Would you know what to do in the medical emergency of an asthma attack? Asthma is a common lung condition, which is potentially life-threatening without effective treatment and a prompt first aid response to attacks.

It might be you that needs to step in quickly if the person is not able to relieve their symptoms themselves.

When is asthma first aid needed?

Common signs of an asthma attack can include a cough, wheezing or whistling, breathing difficulties (a silent attack), or tightening in the chest.

What causes an asthma attack?

People suffering from asthma have sensitive airways and these become inflamed when there are triggers (e.g. allergens, mould or hard exercise). The air passages become so swollen that it makes it much harder to breathe.

Families are now being warned that cooking with gas can stir up an asthma condition[i]. Two other environmental conditions that increase the chances of an acute asthma attack are bushfire smoke/air pollution and big dust storms. Those miles away from the site of fire can also be affected.

In all the above scenarios, following the person’s Asthma Action Plan is important.

Asthma medication for a first aid emergency

Most asthma sufferers also carry an inhaler (or puffer). This contains a reliever medication, e.g. Ventolin or Asmol, with active ingredient salbutamol sulfate. Because the active ingredient works to relieve symptoms, it’s important to shake the puffer up/down every time it’s inhaled.

Why child care first aid providers should use a spacer

Using a spacer device (not just a Puffer) is more effective, especially when assisting children with a puffer, as this simple apparatus can help with timing of breaths.

A spacer is a holding chamber that makes it much easier to take asthma medication from a puffer called an MDI (metered dose inhaler).

Spacer use is recommended by the National Asthma Council for all children, for adults taking a preventer medication, and for those on a reliever medication, or anyone who finds it hard to do the press and breath technique on their puffer. 

My First Aid Course Brisbane can help you get familiar with a spacer and teach the simple four-breath technique in our comprehensive HLTAID003* Provide First Aid course.  We hold public Brisbane first aid courses in Albion, Deagon, and Bridgeman Downs.  

See this video for how to do the Four-Breath Technique:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b08BkRc1BT8

Four Good Reasons to do Asthma First Aid Training

Reasons to do a Provide First Aid course or Childcare First Aid course with Asthma management training, include:

  1. Using the four-breath technique and a spacer improves outcome by 90%, so learn how to do this in person.
  2. 1 in 9 of us have asthma – so chances are high you will witness an asthma attack in your lifetime.[ii]
  3. Parents of children with asthma need training to best follow their Asthma Action Plan.
  4. Most importantly, learning how to help someone having an asthma attack could save a life.

Want to attend a Brisbane first course near you?

At My First Aid Course Brisbane, we are passionate about everyone learning this crucial part of emergency first aid.

Childcare educators will find the emergency child care first aid course with My First Aid Course relevant for the first aid training requirements, not to mention extremely beneficial, since their chances of witnessing an asthma flare-up are increased. As well, parents of children with asthma can learn how to best help their children. See HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting* (a childcare first aid course Brisbane).

Our First Aid CPR course (*HLTAID003 Provide First Aid) also includes Asthma first aid management and is relevant for everyone including workplace first aiders.

* Please note: national training codes for first aid courses are changing, however the existing codes will still be valid for 3 years:

HLTAID003 will change to HLTAID011 Provide first aid

HLTAID004 to HLTAID012 Provide First Aid in an education and care setting

My First Aid Course Brisbane plans to update to the new codes, along with its modifications to the online component, before the end of 2021.

Learn first aid online

We know that workers and parents are busy, so why not join this course online? My First Aid Course offer both face-to-face training and extended online learning with face-to-face assessment-only format to give you unparalleled flexibility.

See how much class time you could save with online first aid learning for our most popular courses:

COVID-Friendly first aid courses

At My First Aid Course, we have taken extra measures to ensure all of our classes are COVID-19 friendly.

HUGE onsite group discounts!

Whether school or workplace, the friendly team at My First Aid Course Brisbane can come to you to deliver on-site group first aid training that’s relevant to your industry and very affordable. To find out what you could save on group first aid training, call us today or request a group training quote here.

[i] https://www.nationalasthma.org.au/ 

[ii] https://asthma.org.au/about-asthma/understanding-asthma/asthma