First Aid Techniques
At the Emergency Scene
Action in An Emergency
Assessing a Casualty
Maintaining Airway,
Breathing, and Circulation
What to do When Somebody has Collapsed
The recovery Position for
The recovery Position for
Children and Babies
Rescue Breathing for Adults
Rescue Breathing for
Children and Babies
CPR for Adults
CPR for Children and Babies
Choking in Adults
Choking in Children
Choking in Babies
Everyday First Aid
Minor Wounds
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Dealing with Splinters and
Fish Hooks
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More on Bites and Stings
Earaches, Toothache, and
Sore Throat
Abdominal Pain
Vomiting and Diarrhea
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Equipment, Medicines, and Complementary Medicine
Using Dressings and Cold
First Aid Kit for the Home
First Aid Kit for the Car
Wilderness First Aid Kit
Observation Chart/Victim
Storing and Using Medication
Commonly Prescribed
What They Do and Side
Drug Interactions
The Complementary
Medicine Chest

Asthma attacks cause the muscles of the air passages to go into spasm, making it very difficult for the asthmatic to breath, particularly to exhale. Attacks may be triggered by an allergy or by stress; for example, being involved in an accident. Sometimes the cause of the attacks for a particular suffer is never identified. There is evidence to suggest that asthma appears to be in increasing in frequency, or at least in diagnosis.


An asthma attack should not be underestimated. While the preventive treatments are very effective, and the drugs to relieve attacks usually work very well, left untreated, a serious attack can be fatal. The strain of a serious asthma attack can cause the breathing to stop or the heart to cease beating. You should be prepared to resuscitate.

  1. Reassure the victim as this will have a positive effect on his breathing.

  2. Help the victim into a sitting position, leaning slightly forward, as most of people with asthma find this an easier position for breathing.

  3. If the victim has a medication, enable him to use it. Inhalers are the main form of treatment.

If this is the first attack, the medication does not work within 5 minutes, or the victim is in severe distress, then call an ambulance. Help the victim to take the medication every 5-10 minutes.

If the attack eases and the person finds it easier to breathe, he will not need immediate medical attention but should advise a doctor of the attack. A person will often be very tired following an attack so it is best to ensure that he is accompanied home to rest.


  • History of condition (although some people may not realize that they are asthmatic and the first attack may be a sever one)
  • Difficulty in breathing, particularly breathing out
  • Wheezing or otherwise noisy breathing
  • Inability to speak
  • Pale skin and potential blueness. Particularly around the lips, caused by lack of oxygen
  • Distress. Dizziness, and confusion as it becomes harder to get oxygen into the body
  • Unconsciousness and then breathing stopping


Known asthmatics are usually prescribed an inhaler, a device that administers a measured dose of drugs inhaled directly into the lungs, where it will have a near-instant effect. Young children may find it hard to use ordinary aerosol inhaler and will need a spacer instead. Medication is put into the end of the spacer and the child breathes normally to take this in.

Children under the age of four will usually require a face mask to use with the spacer as they cannot coordinate their breathing to inhale the drugs. If a member of your family is an asthmatic, make sure that everyone understands the importance of knowing where the inhaler is and that there is always enough medication in the house.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

First Aid Procedures
Breathing Difficulties
Anaphylactic Shock
Heart Problems
Treatment of External Bleeding
Bleeding from the Head or
Treating Chest or Abdominal
Crush Injuries, Impalement,
and Amputation
Internal Bleeding
Eye Wounds and Embedded
Bleeding from Special Sites
Controlling Bleeding from the Mouth and Nose
Fractures, Discolorations, and
Soft Tissue Injuries
How to Treat Fractures
Fractures of the Skull, Face,
and Jaw
Fractures of the Upper Body
Fractures of the Arm and Hand
Fractures of the Ribcage
Recognizing Back and Spinal
If you have to move the Victim
Unconscious Victim
Injuries to the Lower Body
Injuries to the Lower Leg
Sprains and Strains
Burns and Scalds
Treating Other Types of Burn
Chemical Burns and Eye Burns
Extreme Cold
Extreme Heat
Poisoning from Household
Poisoning from Industrial
Drug Poisoning
Alcohol Poisoning
Food Poisoning
Emergency Childbirth
Wilderness First Aid
What to Do if You are a Long Way from Help
Wilderness First Aid
Avalanche and Snow Survival Techniques
Cold Water Survival
Stretcher Improvising
Loading and Carrying a
One-and-Two-Person Carries
Helicopter Rescue