Would you know what to do if someone had an asthma attack in front of you? Do you know what the triggers are?
Our regular followers know all about the struggle that Callum has on a daily basis with his multiple severe allergies.
But, did you know that he also suffers with severe asthma too?
We’re able to control it most of the time with strong steroid inhalers and other medication, and we’re about to take the leap into using Montelukast (a strong oral steroid that does come with side effects).
Asthma is serious!
This time 2 years ago, we hit a crunch point with Callum.
After suffering with numerous chest infections, his asthma continued to get worse, until the day his breathing was compromised and we ended up in hospital repeatedly giving him a nebuliser/ 10 puffs of his blue inhaler at regular intervals.
To say it was scary is an understatement!
I’ve witnessed first-hand severe reactions, watching his whole body swell before my very eyes, the coughing when his breathing has been compromised….
This was different!
This time, there was fear in his eyes.
His childminder couldn’t make him better!
I couldn’t make him better!
The medicine wasn’t making him better!
He was grey.
Very very wheezy, and with a rattle sound.
I’ve willed Callum to get better before, prayed to his guardian angel to do something to make things ok.
This was on a different league.
Not breathing is truly frightening!
Would you know what to do if you witnessed this?
There are a number of things that can trigger an asthma attack:
- Weather - especially storms
- Cold/ flu
- Food - especially with allergies
- Mould/ fungi
- Dust mites
That’s a lot of things to be aware of, and to take note of to keep yourself safe if you’re prone to asthma and trying to control symptoms.
What to do when an attack occurs?
Before anything else, it is important to stay calm. Easier said than done maybe, but by keeping calm it reduces the endorphins being released around the body, allowing you more control of your breathing.
Make sure the person suffering an asthma attack is sitting UP, not down!
Use one puff of their blue inhaler every 60 seconds, to a maximum of 10 puffs. If during this time the symptoms don’t improve, symptoms worsen or new symptoms appear, then dial 999!
If you have a young child with asthma, make sure everything is in their care plan at nursery/ childminders/ school so that they know what to do and how to react if an attack occurs when in their care!
Does it get better?
Yes it does - if you use your medication!
If you or your child is diagnosed with asthma, and prescribed an inhaler/ inhalers, then please please use them!
To get full control of asthma, a preventative inhaler needs to be used daily to build up in the body and provide an even level of coverage. Intermittent use won’t do much, if anything it can prove dangerous as it will provide you with a false sense of security!
Little ones should have spacers, or as Callum calls it ‘his rocket’. They are designed to ensure the full dose reaches the right place each time.
If you have one, get your child to breathe deeply and slowly a couple of times so you get used to the rhythm of their breathing. As the exhale, on the final part, squirt (puff) the inhaler into the spacer so that a full dose is ready and waiting in the spacer chamber for them to inhale. Allow them to continue to breathe in and out deeply at least 6 times, before repeating for a second puff of inhaler. This will ensure they get the correct dose.
Callum has always loved his spacer (rocket), we’ve made it a fun process that he knows is making him better, and not something to be frightened of.
Things to remember
Always take your blue reliever inhaler with you everywhere, you never know when you might need it!
Stay calm at all times, you will be able to deal better with a crisis situation!
Make sure the person suffering the attack is sitting UP, not lying down!
Don’t be frightened to call 999 if in doubt, they won’t tell you off!
For more information and guidance, visit www.asthma.org.uk for all the details you will need!