Asthma: What it is and what to do when an attack occurs

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According to Asthma UK, there are 5.4 million people with asthma in the UK, and from research carried out by Asthma UK someone has a serious attack every 10 seconds.

Asthma is a condition that affects the airways, causing them to tighten and go into spasm, making it difficult for the sufferer to breathe.

Asthma attacks can be overwhelming and frightening, not only for the sufferer but those around them trying to help. So, it’s important that you remain calm and reassure the casualty as reducing the stress and keeping them calm helps to keep their symptoms under control.

What causes Asthma:

There are many different triggers for asthma attacks, and these include allergies, stress, exercise, exposure to cold and flu viruses, weather, dust mites, pollution.

 Symptoms of Asthma:


Wheezy Breathing

Signs of Distress and Anxiety

Difficulty breathing

Struggling to speak


  • Sit the person down in the most comfortable position to assist with their breathing (Ideally, sat on the floor in an upright position). Try to keep them calm and reassure them.
  • Ask them to use their reliever inhaler (usually blue) to take one or two puffs.
  • Encourage them to take slow, steady breaths.
  • If there is no sign of improvement, or you’re worried at any time, call 999 or 112 for an ambulance immediately.

Interested in learning first aid?

Why not attend one of our First Aid Courses in High Wycombe that we run regularly.

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