Date
21 July 2019

Asthma attack response

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Recognising and responding to an asthma attack’

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Asthma first aid

Asthma first aid

The six steps for delivering first aid support to someone having an asthma attack are explained in this short video.

Asthma emergency treatment

Asthma emergency treatment

Respond quickly if a child collapses and appears to have difficulty breathing.
With spacer
  1. Shake inhaler and insert inhaler mouthpiece into spacer.
  2. Place spacer mouthpiece in person’s mouth and press the canister once.
  3. Ask the person to breathe in and out normally for about 6 breaths.
  4. Repeat in quick succession until 6 puffs have been given.
Without spacer
  1. Shake inhaler.
  2. Place mouthpiece in the person’s mouth.
  3. Give 1 puff as the person inhales slowly and steadily.
  4. Ask the person to hold that breath for 6 seconds, then take 6 normal breaths.
  5. Repeat as required.

Source: Asthma + Respiratory Foundation NZ (opens in a new tab/window)

Response to difficulty breathing

Response to difficulty breathing

If a child or young person collapses and appears to have difficulty breathing, call an ambulance immediately whether or not the person is known to have asthma.

Follow the Asthma + Respiratory Foundation’s response procedure for someone’s first asthma attack.

  • Call an ambulance immediately (DIAL 111).
  • Give six puffs of a reliever inhaler.
  • Six breaths for each puff.
  • Repeat every six minutes, if little or no improvement.

No harm is likely to result from giving a reliever to someone who does not have asthma.

Note: An asthma emergency kit can be purchased from Asthma + Respiratory Foundation NZ. This includes a letter of Authorisation for Reliever Inhaler. This can be used only by schools and colleges in accordance with Ministry of Health Guidelines.

Source: Asthma + Respiratory Foundation NZ (opens in a new tab/window)

Useful resources

Useful resources

First aid information.

Website

What to do in an emergency

Publisher: Asthma NZ

Visit website

Website

Asthma

Publisher: St John NZ

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Recognise and respond to an asthma attack ”:

Return to the guide “Asthma and learning”

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