Asthama & Hyperventilation

  • Asthma is a medical condition which causes swelling of the airway, constricting airflow.
  • Hyperventilation is simply breathing at an inappropriately high rate.

Recognition

Asthma is characterized by difficulty breathing, wheezing, increased secretions in the airway, and a history of asthma. Hyperventilation can be recognized by fast breathing which is inappropriate for the circumstances, a feeling of not being able to catch one’s breath, and light headed feeling.

Treatment (First Aid)

Inhalers for Asthma come in several styles.

If the victim has a fast-acting inhaler for asthma attacks, encourage them to use it.

  • Calm the victim while slowing their breathing rate
  • Assist the casualty to sit in a position which relieves pressure on the chest.
  • Call 911 if the victim’s condition does not improve or if the victim’s level of consciousness is lowered

For Hyperventilation The aim is to calm the casualty down, to reduce their rate of breathing, and if possible to increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air they breathe, perhaps by getting them to breathe into a paper bag.

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