First aid for Asthma


First Aid for Asthma Chart     Kid's First Aid for Asthma Chart


Quick action may help prevent an asthma attack from becoming an asthma emergency.


Asthma Attack

Asthma Emergency - DANGER SIGNS

  • You have increasing wheezing, cough, chest tightness or
    shortness of breath
  • You are waking often at night with asthma symptoms
  • You need to use your reliever again within 3 hours

This is an asthma attack

  • Your symptoms get worse very quickly
  • You have severe shortness of breath, can’t speak comfortably
    or lips look blue
  • You get little or no relief from your reliever inhaler

Call an ambulance immediately: Dial 000


Not sure if it's Asthma?

If a person stays conscious and their main problem seems to be breathing, follow the asthma first aid steps. Asthma reliever medicine is unlikely to harm them even if they do not have asthma.

Severe Allergic Reactions

Follow the person’s Action Plan for Anaphylaxis if available. If the person has known severe allergies and seems to be having a severe allergic reaction, use their adrenaline autoinjector (e.g. EpiPen, Anapen) before giving asthma reliever medicine.

If you are unsure what you should do


Last reviewed March 2014