Asthma is basically a condition in which the bronchial tubes of the airway shudders and close, thus making breathing difficult. Millions have been diagnosed with some form of asthma that can range from mild to severe.
The commonly used management for asthma is a rescue inhaler. It will deliver one dosage of an aerosol medication that will promote the relaxation of the smooth muscles of the airway in order to facilitate easy breathing.
If a family member has asthma, enrolling in a first aid class is useful since you will be prepared to handle emergencies related to the condition.
Steps on using a rescue inhaler
- Check the label of the rescue inhaler. Always make sure that the expiration date has not yet passed. In most cases, these inhalers are good for nine months. Take note that this is related to the average number of puffs available as well as the time span that the medication is most effective.
- Determine the symptoms that triggered an asthma attack. If the individual experiences chest tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. All of these are indications that the airways are swelling and an asthma attack is occurring.
- Get the rescue inhaler and remove the caps from both the top and end part. Most of the inhalers in the market include caps in order to prevent the build-up of bacteria and debris in the medication delivery tube as well as around the medication cylinder.
- Hold the rescue inhaler so that the medication cylinder is pointed upwards. Make sure that you will shake the inhaler thoroughly to distribute evenly the medication through the solution.
- Instruct the individual to exhale fully so that more medication will enter the airways. The individual must hold the inhaler in his/her hand so that the thumb supports the base of the cylinder while the middle and index factor are on top of the medication cylinder.
- The individual must place the mouthpiece of the rescue inhaler between the teeth. The lips must close firmly around the end of the mouthpiece. It is important to create a tight seal around the mouthpiece so that the medication will not escape during the administration.
- Instruct the individual to inhale at a slow pace and press the top part of the medication chamber. Continue to inhale as the medication goes into the mouth. A complete breath usually takes 5-7 seconds. Hold the breath for 10 seconds so that the medication will completely permeate all the parts of the airway. The lips must be pursed as if whistling or blowing out candles while exhaling slowly. The individual must continue breathing normally. The medication will take effect instantly where the individual can feel excited since the receptors within the body that are triggered to open the airway can also increase the heart rate once stimulated.
- Continue the procedure as instructed by a healthcare professional. Make sure that you will instruct the individual to replace the caps once finished using the inhaler.