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Asthma Action Plan American Lung Association

Now Available In Webinar Format

Learn How to Use an Asthma Action Plan

The American Lung Association’s Asthma Basics program is now being offered as a live, virtual workshop. The program is ideal for frontline healthcare professionals, such as school nurses or community health workers, as well as individuals with asthma, parents of children with asthma, and co-workers, friends and family who want to learn more about asthma.

This event will be held via Microsoft Teams, and will require a secondary registration through the virtual platform once you have signed up on this website. To register, please click the Registration button at the top of this page. A follow up email will then be generated and will contain the link and next steps to access the workshop on the day of the training.

Improving Asthma For All

More than 25 million Americans live with asthma. The chronic lung disease causes millions of lost workdays and results in more than 180,000 hospitalizations each year. To improve the lives of adults living with asthma, the American Lung Association, in collaboration with the CVS Health Foundation, launched the new “Improving Asthma for All” program. To learn more, visit: Improving Asthma for All | American Lung Association

Contact us anytime and check back often for updates on Asthma Basics Workshop!

Asthma Medicines And Tools

There are many ways to treat asthma.

Inhalers or puffers make medicine go right to the lungs, and pills/syrup go through the whole body before getting to the lungs.

There are two main kinds of asthma medicines:

  • Long-term control medicine is used every day to keep the swelling in the lungs down.

  • Rescue medicine is used when symptoms start. These should not be needed very often when asthma is under control.

Most rescue medicines – and some long-term control medicines – need to be used with a spacer to make sure the most medicine gets to the lungs. Michigan Medicaid plans allow four spacers every year, and you can get them at the pharmacy.

Sometimes, medicine for allergies or reflux helps prevent asthma symptoms. If symptoms get bad enough, the doctor may tell you/your child to take steroid pills or syrup. No matter what the doctor tells you to take, be sure you know exactly how and when to take it.

Ask questions about how to use your inhaler at the doctor’s office and pharmacy. Ask your doctor for an asthma action plan that tells you when and how to use each medicine.

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What’s An Asthma Action Plan

This plan describes how to manage your asthma. It includes information about your symptoms and medicines. It also includes instructions about managing your asthma symptoms and when to call your healthcare provider. During each visit with your healthcare provider, you should review your Asthma Action Plan. Or update it at least once a year.

Your Asthma Action Plan should include the following.

National Environmental Education Foundation

asthma action plan Archives

Environmental Management of Pediatric Asthma These guidelines for health care providers focus on integrating environmental management of asthma into pediatric health care. The guidelines outline competencies in environmental health relevant to pediatric asthma that should be integrated into routine asthma care by health care providers. The guidelines also provide details about environmental intervention recommendations that should be shared with patients as part of a clinical asthma visit.

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What’s In An Asthma Action Plan

Your asthma action plan should include:

  • Factors that make your asthma worse, “asthma triggers”
  • Medicines you take to treat your asthma with specific names of each medicine
  • Symptoms or peak flow measurements that indicate worsening asthma
  • Medicines to take based on your signs, symptoms or peak flow measurements
  • Symptoms or peak flow measurements that indicate the need for urgent medical attention
  • Telephone numbers for an emergency contact, your healthcare provider, and your local hospital

An asthma action plan is divided into three zones . The green zone is where you want to be on a daily basis. In this zone, you have no asthma symptoms and you feel good. Continue to take your long-term control medicine even if you’re feeling well. The yellow zone means that you are experiencing symptoms. This is where you should slow down and follow the steps including the use of your quick-relief medicine to keep your asthma from getting worse. And, the red zone means you are experiencing severe asthma symptoms or an asthma flare-up. Follow the steps in your asthma action plan and get immediate medical treatment if your symptoms do not improve.

You should work with your healthcare provider to determine your zones. Your asthma action plan can be based on peak flow rate or asthma symptoms.

Having A Detailed Strategy Is Crucial To Helping You Manage Your Asthma

Medically reviewed in December 2020

If youve been diagnosed with asthma, the most important thing you can do is make a planan asthma action plan. Having your treatment and symptoms written down in one place can help you figure out the best course of action to take during an asthma attack. It can also help a loved one determine if you need help.

What to include Each plan starts with the basics: your name and vital information, as well as the name and phone number of your doctor. If possible, you should also include the name and phone number of your closest or preferred hospital and your emergency contacts.

Some plans will have spaces where you can describe the severity of your asthma, potential triggers and your personal best reading from your peak flow meter, if you use one. Your plan will also list all of your medications and their corresponding dosages, as well as when and how you should take each of them.

Your three action zones An asthma action plan includes three zones: green, yellow and red.

The green zone is where you outline your treatment for when your asthma is under control. Write down the names of your medications, how much to take and how often you take them when healthy. You can also outline your asthma treatment before or during physical activity. If you use a peak flow meter, write down the number that is 80 percent or more of your personal best peak flow.

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Asthma Action Plan Analysis

A literature search on the main interfaces and the websites of English-speaking organizations was performed from January 2010 to October 2021, to identify updated recommendations on how to design asthma action plans and to collect all the essential features/items for effective AAPs. Each AAP was then evaluated to define whether it conformed to such features. During the examination, we identified items that we had not considered when such items were deemed potentially helpful, they were included in the analysis. Finally, 27 items were deemed worthy inclusion: their detailed description is reported in Supplementary Table 1.

Quick Facts About People In Your Area Who Have Hospital Visits For Asthma

Webinar: American Lung Associations Asthma Guidelines-Based Care Initiative
  • Ingham County: There are an average of 130 hospital visits each year for asthma. Adults made about 90 of these visits, and children had 40. Blacks have hospital visits four times as often as whites.

  • Wayne County: Both adults and children have hospital visits for asthma about twice as often as the state rate. Blacks have hospital visits five times more often than whites.

  • Genesee County: In 2017, children in Genesee had the highest amount of hospital visits in the state, based on the number of children who live there. Adults have hospital visits for asthma about twice as often as the state average. Blacks have hospital visits four times as often as whites.

  • Muskegon County: One in 10 adults have asthma. Blacks have hospital visits for asthma four times as often as whites.

  • Saginaw County: Children have hospital visits for asthma about twice as often as the state average for hospital visits, and adults have hospital visits about 1½ times as often. Blacks have hospital visits four times as often as whites.

  • Washtenaw County: One in 10 adults have asthma. There are an average of 177 hospital visits each year for asthma. Blacks have hospital visits five times as often as whites.

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Putting It All Together

Its a good idea to meet with your child’s school nurse, teachers, coaches, and other staff members at the start of each school year. Your child can be there, too. You may also need to meet at other times during the school year. Its also important to meet and talk about your childs Asthma Action Plan with all their caregivers. Make sure you talk about the following:

How Can I Get Help For My/my Child’s Asthma

The best place to get help for asthma is at the doctor’s office. It’s a good idea to have a talk with the doctor about the things that make it hard for you to take care of your/your child’s asthma.

There are lots of ways to get help for asthma. But, if you don’t talk about it, then they can’t help you find ways to make things easier.

If you don’t have a doctor, you can get one by calling your health plan or a local Federally Qualified Health Center.

In Muskegon, Kent, Genesee, Ingham, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, there are programs that offer one-on-one help with an asthma educator. Visits by these MATCH programs are often paid for by Medicaid health plans.

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National Heart Lung And Blood Institute National Asthma Education & Prevention Program

Expert Panel Report Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma The NAEPP Guidelines are the nations gold standard for asthma care and management. These guidelines offer evidence and expert opinion-based recommendations defining how to manage asthma through comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring individual patients asthma. These guidelines detail the use of control medications like inhaled corticosteroids, the important components of a written action plan that guide patient asthma self-management, the importance of scheduling regular follow-up visits with a health care provider, and the impact and control of environmental triggers that can worsen the patients asthma. There are two versions available for download the full guidelines and a 2007 summary report.

Whats In An Asthma Action Plan

Asthma Diary Template

According to the American Lung Association, an asthma action plan is a step-by-step worksheet that lays out ways to prevent your asthma from becoming too severe. It also includes what to do in case of an attack. You can create a plan for both adults and children, with special versions that you can create specifically for use in schools and preschools.

Your plan should also list your immunization history, including the dates you received your flu and COVID-19 vaccines.

Asthma plans usually include contact information and a list of medications that are divided into traffic colors or zones . These zones help determine what steps to take depending on the severity of your symptoms. These zones represent Go, Caution and Danger.

The action plan is important to bring you back to the green zone, Dr. Thiruchelvam says. So rather than getting worse, youre getting better.

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What Triggers Asthma Symptoms

People who have asthma have airways that are very twitchy or sensitive. Triggers are the things that make asthma symptoms start. It’s important to find out what your/your child’s asthma triggers are and learn how to control them.

Common asthma triggers include: smoke pollen mold pet fur and dust. Staying away from triggers is a big part of controlling asthma.

Each person can have different asthma triggers.

To help you find out what your/your child’s asthma triggers are, it may help to keep an asthma diary, where you write down what you/your child were doing and where you were when symptoms started. This will help you find out if being near certain things causes your/your child’s symptoms. For example, if the symptoms are worse when you make your bed or vacuum, dust mites may be a trigger.

Asthma Action Plan Collection

We collected AAPs recommended by the found English-speaking organizations, i.e., from the United Kingdom , Ireland , the United States , Canada , New Zealand , Australia , and South Africa and they were evaluated. We initially screened for pediatric AAPs and then included adult AAPs when a society did not provide a plan specifically addressed to children. When both adult and pediatric plans were available from the same society, we included both to allow a comparison between them. AAPs designed by single centers or subnational organizations were not included.

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How To Read An Asthma Action Plan

One section should include a list of symptoms to identify. Based on those, your doctor fills out the appropriate steps to take. Depending on the triggers, your symptoms and previous steps taken, each zone lists certain medications and actions to take.

Individualized care is key, says Dr. Thiruchelvam. Especially when youre treating asthma, there are two different paths. One is avoiding triggers and the other is treating the disease.

Take these steps to follow your plan:

  • Check if youre having any symptoms and match them to the appropriate zone.
  • Use a peak flow meter to check your peak flow and see if it aligns with the green, yellow or red zone.
  • Take the appropriate medicine outlined by your doctor.
  • If youre in the yellow or red zone, follow the steps outlined and make a visit to either your asthma care provider or an emergency room.
  • Recess Gym Class Exercise And School Trips

    Asthma Quality Improvement

    Your childs Asthma Action Plan should have special instructions for these situations, including:

    • Medicine. List the medicines name and how much your child should take before doing any physical activities such as recess, gym class, or exercise. Include plans for giving your child medicine on field trips.

    • Activities. List any physical activities or field trips that your child should not take part in.

    • Special safety measures and instructions. List any special safety steps that your child should take. This may include wearing a scarf or ski mask on cold days. Or it may include not exercising outside when there are high levels of pollen, mold, or other air irritants. Include any other directions from your childs healthcare provider.

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    Follow The : : 4 Rule For Children

    An asthma action plan lays out steps to take in preparation for a possible attack. But the 4:4:4 rule is also important to know for children having an active attack. This shortcut will help you remember the specifics for helping a child use their inhaler during an attack. When a child is showing shortness of breath, tightness in their chest, wheezing or other severe symptoms of asthma, follow the 4:4:4 rule:

    • Have the child sit upright.
    • Give four puffs, one at a time, from their inhaler.
    • Wait four minutes.
    • If theres no improvement, give another four puffs.

    Global Initiative For Asthma

    2018 GINA Report, Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention Launched in 1993, GINA works in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and National Institutes of Health, USA, and the World Health Organization. GINA works with health care professionals and public health officials around the world to reduce asthma prevalence, morbidity, and mortality. The 2018 update of the Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention incorporates new scientific information about asthma based on a review of recent scientific literature by an international panel of experts on the GINA Science Committee. This comprehensive and practical resource about one of the most common chronic lung diseases worldwide contains extensive citations from the scientific literature and forms the basis for other GINA documents and programs.

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    What You Should Do

    • Create an with your patients to use with school nurses, teachers, and coaches to help manage and communicate a care plan for asthma. more
    • Upload the Asthma Action plan into KIDSNET so that School Nurse Teachers can access it.
    • Let parents know about community asthma resources including Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s: Draw-A-Breath education program and Asthma Camp.
    • Consider focusing on quality improvement of asthma care as part of the National Center for Quality Assurance Patient Centered Medical Home accreditation process. Self-management goal setting and a written care plan are integral to accreditation for practices implementing asthma as an area of focus. (For more information on local providers who have done this, us. more

    Asthma In The Workplace

    Asthma action plan example filled out

    How Lung-Friendly is Your Workplace Infographic This infographic highlights the commonality of lung disease among adults and its cost in healthcare and lost productivity. The infographic also identifies common workplace irritants/hazards and steps to create a lung-friendly workplace. This infographic also links to the Lung Association’s corporate wellness page.

    Maine QuitLinkThe Maine QuitLink is an online resource to support Maine residents to be tobacco-free and to connect to tobacco treatment. The staff through the Maine QuitLink offer expert counseling and are committed to making a difference through support that can help you stay tobacco-free for life.

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    Proper Education Is Necessary

    Asthma management education goes hand in hand with an asthma action plan.

    Learn how to use your medicines correctly. If you take inhaled medicines, you should practice using your inhaler at your health care providers office. If you take long-term control medicines, take them daily as your health care provider prescribes. Your health care provider may also advise you to use a peak flow meter to measure and record how well your lungs are working.

    Every time you use an inhaler, it is important to also use a spacer. This device helps you get more medication into the lungs. Learn how to use an inhaler properly with a spacer.

    RHA offers Fight Asthma Now©, an asthma self-management curriculum delivered to youth and teens in school settings. RHAs asthma educators use engaging and active lesson plans to give youth and teens the tools and knowledge they need to identify and avoid triggers, manage asthma episodes and control asthma on a long-term basis.

    Each adult in a childs life needs information on how to:

    • Remove triggers from a home, school or childcare center
    • Prevent asthma episodes
    • Help deliver asthma medicines
    • Handle asthma emergencies

    RHA offers Asthma Management, a one-hour program for caregivers, to schools and in community settings. RHAs Asthma-Friendly Childcare toolkit is also available.

    For more information about Fight Asthma Now© or Asthma Management, contact Syntyche Kanku, Program Coordinator, via email at or by phone at 628-0227.


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