Asthma first aid is needed when someone is having an asthma flare-up. Some people also call it an asthma attack.
During an asthma flare-up your asthma symptoms get worse. You might find it hard to breathe, cough a lot, have a tight chest, or a wheeze. It can come on slowly, over hours, days or even weeks, or very quickly over minutes.
How to respond
Once your symptoms improve, make an appointment to see your doctor to check in on your asthma, preferably the same day. If your symptoms are getting worse, go straight to hospital or call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.
Click on your reliever to view the appropriate
Asthma First Aid instructions
Learn more about the above medications here: Airomir, Asmol, Ventolin and Zempreon (salbutamol 100mcg)
Learn more about the above medications here: DuoResp Spiromax 200/6 or Symbicort Turbuhaler 200/6
Learn more about the above medication here: Symbicort Rapihaler 100/3
Learn more about the above medication here: Fostair 100/6
Asthma First Aid in a School or Community Setting
The blue/grey reliever puffer (salbutamol 100mcg) is the most common reliever medicine in Australia. Blue/grey reliever puffers include Airomir, Asmol, Ventolin and Zempreon. They are available without a prescription from pharmacies. Any brand of salbutamol puffer can be used in your Asthma Emergency Kit.
Bricanyl Turbuhaler (terbutaline 500mcg) is also an ‘over-the-counter’ reliever. Bricanyl first-aid instructions are also on the blue/grey reliever poster.
Dual Purpose Relievers such as Duo-Resp Spiromax, Symbicort Turbuhaler or Symbicort Rapihaler, and Fostair which can be used as a reliever in some circumstances are prescription only and won’t be part of your Asthma First Aid kit but are important to be aware of.
You might choose to include a copy of the alternative Asthma First Aid instructions in any student’s file who has an alternative reliever prescribed.
Download the full set here: Click here to download
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we recommend additional cleaning of any shared blue/grey puffers after using them with a spacer for Asthma First Aid. See our full recommendations: Click here to download.
Asthma First Aid App
Or download Asthma First Aid App to access the asthma first aid steps wherever you are.