First Aid Asthma Hyperventilation

Asthma & Hyperventilation

Asthma attacks are characterized by inflammation of the airway, which constricts air exchange.

Hyperventilation is simply breathing at an inappropriately high rate.


  • Asthma is characterized by difficulty breathing, wheezing, 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 headedness.


Inhalers for Asthma

 Asthma inhalers 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.

For Hyperventilation The aim is to calm the victim 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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