Do you suffer from asthma? If so, you probably know what to do if you have a sudden attack. But, supposing you’re not a sufferer, would you know what to do if a visitor to your home had an attack? By being prepared, you will know how to help an asthma victim.
If you know you have an asthma sufferer visiting, it’s always best to discuss their needs with them. You want to be sure they’re properly prepared for an attack.
It generally starts with breathing difficulty, maybe wheezing, and a gray tinge to the fingers or lips. The sufferer may have difficulty speaking. They may clasp the area below the throat. First, don’t panic, and try to keep the other person calm, seated in an upright position to keep airways as open as possible.
Second, if you have any indication of what’s caused the attack – often it’s an allergy or sensitivity to smoke – do whatever you can to remove the cause.
The sufferer normally should have some sort of medication, such as an inhaler. If they’re not able to speak, ask them to indicate where this is and retrieve it.
Knowing how to help an asthma victim sometimes means seeking immediate medical care.
If skin, notably the lips, becomes discolored or seems to be sucked in between the ribs, this may be the time to call 911 or visit an urgent care center. For more information about the types of asthma and possible treatments, visit the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.