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When To Go To Er For Asthma

What To Take With You When Going To Hospital With Asthma

When Should I Go to the Emergency Room (ER) for an Asthma Attack?

If youre at home when you have an asthma emergency and need to go to hospital, it would ideally help if you could take a few things with you. These include:

  • Your asthma inhalers
  • Your spacer, if you use one
  • Any other medications you currently take, for your asthma and other conditions
  • A copy of your asthma action plan this will help medics see your asthma triggers, your peak flow and other relevant

Taking these items with you will help the medics to treat you. However, they are not essential, so dont worry if youre not able to take them with you.

What Are Common Asthma Attack Triggers

An asthma attack happens when someone comes in contact with substances that irritate them. Healthcare providers call these substances triggers. Knowing what triggers your asthma makes it easier to avoid asthma attacks.

For some people, a trigger can bring on an attack right away. Sometimes, an attack may start hours or days later.

Triggers can be different for each person. But some common triggers include:

  • Air pollution: Many things outside can cause an asthma attack. Air pollution includes factory emissions, car exhaust, wildfire smoke and more.
  • Dust mites: You cant see these bugs, but they are in many homes. If you have a dust mite allergy, they can cause an asthma attack.
  • Exercise: For some people, exercising can cause an attack.
  • Mold: Damp places can spawn mold. It can cause problems for people with asthma. You dont even have to be allergic to mold to have an attack.
  • Pests: Cockroaches, mice and other household pests can cause asthma attacks.
  • Pets: Your pets can cause asthma attacks. If youre allergic to pet dander , breathing in the dander can irritate your airways.
  • Tobacco smoke: If you or someone in your home smokes, you have a higher risk of developing asthma. The best solution is to quit smoking.
  • Strong chemicals or smells.

With asthma, you may not have all of these symptoms. You may have different signs at different times. And symptoms can change between asthma attacks.

How To Manage Your Childs Asthma

Educate yourself about asthma: The more you know, the more confident you will feel when treating your childs asthma. Get an understanding of what the medicines do to help your child breathe and how to administer them properly. This goes for every caretaker that spends significant time with your child such as baby sitter, coaches, and teachers.

Have a : Having a child asthma plan will take the guesswork out of your treatment plan, something you dont want at all when dealing with your childs illness. When taking notes, pay attention to whats working. Have your childs symptoms been improving? If not, what symptoms are unchanged or worsening?

Dont let asthma consume your childs life: Its important to be proactive when it comes to your childs asthma, but dont let the illness interfere with your child enjoying his or her childhood. There can be a lot of restrictions when it comes to raising a child with asthma, but its important to allow them to have fun and a sense of normalcy.

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Faqs Doctors Are Asked Regarding Asthma

If you or a loved one has asthma, you likely have a lot of questions. Fortunately, asthma is a treatable and manageable condition that wont impact your quality of life if you work with an experienced doctor. Here are some frequently asked questions about asthma that the providers at Cornerstone Urgent Care often discuss with patients.

When Do Asthma Attacks Require Medical Attention

Asthma Attack When To Go To Er

There are some instances in which an asthma attack will not resolve on its own, with or without medication. One is called silent chest. Thats when there isnt even enough air moving through your lungs to cause wheezing.

In another very serious situation known as cyanosis, the patients lips can begin to turn a bluish shade. This is due to a lack of oxygen in the blood because of impaired breathing. This requires immediate care in the emergency room or from paramedics.

Do not hesitate to call 911 if an asthma patient shows either of these signs.

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Asthma Without Inhaler

Asthma Attacks: Symptoms Treatment And When To Go To Urgent Care

By Amory Urgent Care

Chances are that someone at your gym, on your kickball team, or in your running club has asthma. More than 26 million Americans do and while its an entirely treatable disease, it can also be scary to watch someone having an asthma attack.

Whether you have asthma or someone you love has just been diagnosed with this respiratory disorder, learn what the signs of asthma attacks are. That can help you know how to treat it, and when to go to urgent care.

When To Seek Help

Sometimes your child must receive medical care very quickly. If any of the following symptoms happen, see your doctor immediately, go to the ER, or call an ambulance:

  • if your child is having constant wheezing
  • if your child uses quick-relief medicines repeatedly for severe flare-up symptoms that dont go away after 5 or 10 minutes or return again quickly
  • if there are changes in your childs color, like bluish or gray lips and fingernails
  • if your child is having trouble talking
  • if the areas below the ribs, between the ribs, and in the neck visibly pull in during inhalation
  • if your childs peak flow reading falls below 50% and doesnt improve after using medicine

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How Long Will I Need To Stay In The Hospital

How long you stay in the hospital will depend on how severe your symptoms are, and how well they respond to the treatments you receive.2 Your healthcare providers may need you to stay in the emergency room for a certain amount of time after your attack is under control, to make sure that you dont have another attack.

If your symptoms are not responding well enough to the emergency treatment, then you may need to be admitted to the hospital for a longer stay. In some cases, you might need to breathe oxygen through a mask and receive medications regularly over one or more days.

The Rate Of Emergency Department Visits With A Primary Diagnosis Of Asthma Remained Stable From 2010 Through 2018

When Should Someone Go to the ER for an Asthma Attack? – Natalie Shum, MD – Emergency Medicine

The emergency department is an important place for patients to seek immediate care for asthma exacerbations. It may also be the main place of care for some patients who do not have a medical home or a primary care provider. The asthma ED visits rate with a primary diagnosis of asthma for adults , for children , or for all ages did not change significantly from 2010 through 2018 .

Asthma emergency department visits rate* by age group and year: United States, 20102018.

The asthma ED visits rate was significantly higher among children than among adults and among women than among men . Also, the rates significantly decreased with increasing age: 62.7 among adults aged 1834 years, 36.9 among adults aged 3564 years, and 18.2 among adults aged 65 years and over. Regardless of age group, the rate was significantly higher among Black persons , followed by Hispanic persons , and white persons .

CDCs National Asthma Control Program was created in 1999 to help the millions of people with asthma in the United States gain control over their disease. The NACP conducts national asthma surveillance and funds states to help them improve their asthma surveillance and to focus efforts and resources where they are needed.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

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How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms

Monitoring your asthma symptoms is an essential piece of managing the disease. Your healthcare provider may have you use a peak flow meter. This device measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. It can help your provider make adjustments to your medication. It also tells you if your symptoms are getting worse.

The Role Of Asthma Action Plans

An Asthma Action Plan can help. It has green , yellow , and red zones that help you know how to treat your asthma. You can and fill it out with your doctor.

With my kids, we learned that sometimes it is best to let the hospital take over medical care for our kids. They are fully trained and have all of the equipment to monitor them.

For those of you with small children that have asthma, pay close attention to their symptoms! Have a plan of what to do if your kids have any of the symptoms listed above – whether to call your doctor, call 911 or head to the hospital.

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Understand And Recognize The Early Symptoms/signs Of An Asthma Attack

Asthma is different for each individual. Some children just cough at night, and others get flare-ups if they get chilly or play outdoors. When you handle the asthma of your infant, give attention to what is happening before the flare-up, so that you understand the early symptoms. These indicators do not mean that a flare-up is going to occur, but they may help you prepare accordingly. Also, make sure to talk to your pediatrician to know what the early signs might be. Some indicators are as follow:

  • Your kid takes quick-relief medications repeatedly with serious flare-up symptoms that do not go away after 15-20 minutes or return easily.
  • Fast relief treatment is not lasting for 4 hours.
  • Wheezing or tightness of the chest is extreme or worse.
  • Your kid cant talk or walk because of trouble breathing.
  • Your childs lips or fingernails turn blue or grey.
  • You note retractions which means the space underneath or between your childs ribs or parts of his or her neck are moving in as they breathe.
  • You note that his or her nose is wide open as they breathe.
  • Your child has a long-lasting cough that does not react to a quick-relief inhalation medication.

Will Asthma Go Away

Asthma Emergency Room Treatment

Asthma is chronic, but it may improve over time in some cases. While it may not go away entirely, management techniques can help minimize the impact it has on your life. Actively employing preventive techniques can help you avoid asthma attacks for months or years at a time. It is important to routinely see a doctor to ensure you stay ahead of health problems that could exasperate asthma symptoms.

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How Long Does An Attack Last

The duration of an asthma attack may be anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Usually, the asthma patient will have a good sense of how long his or her attacks are. They will also be able to determine whether this is a mild attack that will likely pass on its own, or if medical attention is necessary.

What Kinds Of Emergency Treatments Are Provided In The Hospital

When you arrive at the hospital during a severe asthma attack, healthcare providers will examine you and decide about the best course of treatment to get your asthma under control as quickly as possible. You should try to remember to bring along your Asthma Action Plan, so that they will know about your usual treatment regimen.

Treatments that can be used to help control your asthma attack include2:

  • Bronchodilators , delivered through an inhaler or a nebulizer, can help to open up your airways
  • Corticosteroids, taken in a pill or through an IV, can help to reduce inflammation in the lungs

If your asthma attack is very severe and dangerous, you may need to have a breathing tube inserted down your throat and into your airway. A machine then pumps oxygen into your body so that you can breathe while other medicines help to control the attack.

While you are in the hospital, you will be asked to take lung function tests to measure how well the treatments are working to control and relieve your symptoms. Once your attack is under control, these tests can also be used regularly to help monitor your symptoms and predict when another attack may be on the way.1

Read Also: Asthma Journal Articles

Causes Of Chest Tightening

  • Exercise Running, jumping or even brisk walking can cause the chest to become tight and induce an attack
  • Laughing Chest tightness when they laugh or have bouts of giggling can cause an attack
  • Menstruation Some women report experiencing chest tightness when they have their menstruation accompanied by severe cramps are known to be causes of asthma symptoms
  • Panic Panic attacks or people who are stressed and fearful can experience any or all of these symptoms
  • Injuries An injury to the upper chest, ribs or back can cause an attack
  • Roaches Roach droppings and shed cockroach dander are known asthma triggers
  • Medications aspirin medications like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium cause asthma symptoms in people who are allergic or sensitive to aspirin.

What Are The Signs Of A Severe Asthma Attack

Asthma Attack | When to Go to the E.R.

Asthma may lead to a medical emergency.

Rescue inhalers can help you: otc inhalers

Seek medical help immediately for:

  • Fast breathing with chest retractions
  • Cyanosis which is tissue color changes on mucus membranes and fingertips or nail beds – the color appears grayish or whitish on darker skin tones and bluish on lighter skin tones
  • Rapid movement of nostrils
  • Ribs or stomach moving in and out deeply and rapidly
  • Expanded chest that does not deflate when you exhale
  • Infants with asthma who fail to respond to or recognize parents

Recommended Reading: How To Calm Down Asthma Symptoms

Ask A Friend Or Family Member

I don’t care how much of an asthma expert you are, it is never easy to make such a decision on your own. It is far easier to tell someone else what to do than to make the same decision for yourself. I have done this many times, and so have many of my asthmatic RT and RN co-workers. They can usually tell if you are suffering and help you to make the decision.

Whats An Asthma Attack

When you breathe normally, muscles around your airways are relaxed, letting air move easily. During an asthma attack, three things can happen:

  • Bronchospasm: The muscles around the airways constrict . When they tighten, it makes the airways narrow. Air cannot flow freely through constricted airways.
  • Inflammation: The airway linings become swollen. Swollen airways dont let as much air in or out of the lungs.
  • Mucus production: During the attack, your body creates more mucus. This thick mucus clogs airways.

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How Do I Know If My Asthma Attack Is Severe

Having an Asthma Action Plan that you designed with your healthcare provider is an important tool for deciding whether your symptoms are severe enough that you should go to the hospital.1-2 You should always follow your own healthcare providers advice about when to seek emergency treatment. However, the following severe symptoms can be very dangerous if not treated right away in the hospital:

  • You have shortness of breath that makes it hard to talk or walk
  • Your lips or fingernails have turned blue
  • You have wheezing or shortness of breath that does not go away after taking your rescue medication

What To Do During A Severe Allergic Asthma Attack

Asthma Attack When To Go To Er

Everyone who lives with allergic asthma can help protect their health by learning the basics of asthma first-aid.

A good preventive step is to create an asthma action plan with your doctor. Heres an example worksheet to create an asthma action plan, provided by the American Lung Association. An asthma action plan can help you be prepared if your symptoms flare up.

If youre having an allergic asthma attack, address your symptoms right away. If your symptoms are mild, take your quick-relief medication. You should feel better after 20 to 60 minutes. If you get worse or dont improve, then you should get help now. Call for emergency medical help and take these steps while you wait for help to arrive.

Recommended Reading: Asthma Help Without Inhaler

What Causes Asthma

Healthcare providers dont know why some people have asthma while others dont. But certain factors present a higher risk:

  • Allergies: Having allergies can raise your risk of developing asthma.
  • Environmental factors: Infants can develop asthma after breathing in things that irritate the airways. These substances include allergens, secondhand smoke and some viral infections. They can harm infants and young children whose immune systems havent finished developing.
  • Genetics: People with a family history of asthma have a higher risk of developing the disease.
  • Respiratory infections: Certain respiratory infections, such as respiratory syncytial virus , can damage young childrens developing lungs.

Who Can Get Asthma

Anyone can develop asthma at any age. People with allergies or people exposed to tobacco smoke and secondhand smoke are more likely to develop asthma.

Statistics show women tend to have asthma more than men, and asthma affects Black Americans more frequently than other races.

When a child develops asthma, healthcare providers call it childhood asthma. If it develops later in life, its adult-onset asthma.

Children do not outgrow asthma. They may have fewer symptoms as they get older, but they could still have an asthma attack. Your childs healthcare provider can help you understand the risks.

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