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First aid for asthma

The following advice shows the first aid treatment for asthma

1. Someone having an asthma attack may have all or some of the following symptoms:

Difficulty breathing

Wheezing

Coughing

Distress and anxiety

Difficulty speaking

Grey-blue colouring in skin, lips, earlobes and nailbeds

In a severe attack: Exhaustion and possible loss of responsiveness

2. Keep calm and reassure the casualty. Get them to use their inhaler if they have one.

3. Encourage slow breaths.

4. Sit them down in the position they find most comfortable.

5. Mild attacks should ease within minutes. If not, ask the casualty to use their inhaler again. Casualty may take one or two puffs from their inhaler every two minutes until they have had ten puffs.

6. Dial 999/112 for an ambulance if:

This is the first attack and the casualty does not have medication with them.

Casualty becomes breathless and talking is difficult.

The inhaler has no effect.

It is a severe attack.

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When Tim Ravenhill got to his desk at BT in Cardiff, he thought it was going to be a normal day at the office. He didn’t expect to need first aid, but a medical emergency can happen anywhere

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CF24 5PB

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