Asthma Attack and No Medication!

One of the scariest feelings is not being able to breath.  This is exactly what is happening during a severe asthma attack.  I received an email from a person who stated that they have been trained in CPR and First Aid multiple times and though it covers the basics of asthma it never really talks about what to do in depth.  They gave me a scenario where a person may be having an asthma attack and EMS is quite some ways away.  What’s worse, there isn’t any medication for the asthma attack!  Now what?

In this episode we take a look at what asthma is, and how we can confidently handle it even if there isn’t any medications and EMS/911 is delayed.

Asthma Guide
Asthma Symptoms
ProFirstAid.com Training (Allergic Reactions)

Roy Shaw

Roy is the lead trainer and co-founder of ProTrainings. He is also an EMT paramedic whose opinions about rescue come from many years of experience on the ambulance.

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5 comments on “Asthma Attack and No Medication!

    • Hello Lacey,

      With all the over use of medications these days, I think most everyone can understand why you might want to find an alternative to traditional asthma medications. It’s going to be important to remember that asthma kills countless people each year and when a person suffers a serious asthma attack, the best chance at recovery is going to come via traditional medications both acutely and long term which will include rescue inhalers, short term steroids and long term steroidal therapy. Though there may be ways to help combat triggers that can cause an asthma attack, and there may be ways to help reduce the inflammatory condition the body is in so as to help reduce the swelling in the airways, I must urge you to enter into a very open and honest communication between your doctor and yourself whenever you are contemplating natural alternatives or stopping any medication regimen. To date, I have not seen any type of alternative treatment that has the effectiveness against asthma compared to traditional prescription medications such as:

      * Fluticasone Drug Information
      Fluticasone is a corticosteroid used to reduce inflammation in the nasal passageways for seasonal allergies, rhinitis and “hay fever” relief and in combination with other drugs for asthma relief.
      * Advair Diskus Inhaler
      Advair is a combination asthma inhaler containing salmeterol (a bronchodilator) and fluticasone (a corticosteroid) for long-term asthma control.
      * Accolate Oral
      Zafirlukast is used to prevent asthma symptoms and to decrease the number of asthma attacks in people 5 and older. It helps make breathing easier by reducing swelling (inflammation) in the airways. Regular use of this medication can help control your asthma, improve your ability to exercise, and decrease the number of times you need to use your rescue inhaler.
      * Aerobid Inhl
      Flunisolide is used to prevent and control symptoms (wheezing and shortness of breath) caused by asthma. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It works directly in the lungs to make breathing easier by reducing the irritation and swelling of the airways.
      * Asmanex Twisthaler Inhl
      When used regularly, mometasone helps to prevent the wheezing and shortness of breath that can occur with asthma. This medication is in a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It works directly in the lungs to make breathing easier by reducing the swelling of the airways.
      * Azmacort Inhl
      Triamcinolone is used to prevent and control symptoms (wheezing and shortness of breath) caused by asthma. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It works directly in the lungs to make breathing easier by reducing the irritation and swelling of the airways.
      * Medrol Oral
      This medication is used to treat various conditions such as allergic disorders; arthritis; blood diseases; breathing problems; certain cancers; eye diseases; intestinal disorders; collagen and skin diseases. It decreases your body’s immune response to these diseases and reduces symptoms such as swelling and redness. Methylprednisolone is a corticosteroid hormone (glucocorticoid).
      * Pediapred Oral
      Prednisolone is a man-made form of a natural substance (corticosteroid hormone) made by the adrenal gland. It is used to treat conditions such as arthritis, blood problems, immune system disorders, skin and eye conditions, breathing problems, cancer, and severe allergies. It decreases your immune system’s response to various diseases to reduce symptoms such as pain, swelling and allergic-type reactions.
      * Pred Forte Opht
      This medication is used to treat certain eye conditions due to inflammation or injury. Prednisolone works by relieving symptoms such as swelling, redness, and itching. It belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids.
      * Qvar Inhl
      Beclomethasone is used to prevent and control symptoms (wheezing and shortness of breath) caused by asthma. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It works directly in the lungs to make breathing easier by reducing the irritation and swelling of the airways.
      * Xolair SubQ
      This medication is used to treat moderate to severe asthma in adults and children over 12 years of age. It works by blocking your immune system’s natural response to allergic triggers that can lead to an acute asthma attack. This action on your immune system (specifically immunoglobulin E-IgE), helps keep your air passages open and, over time, it keeps your asthma in better control.
      * Xopenex HFA Inhaler
      Xopenex (levalbuterol) is used to treat wheezing and shortness of breath that commonly occur with lung problems (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Levalbuterol is a bronchodilator (beta-2 receptor agonist) that works by opening breathing passages to make breathing easier.
      * Zyflo Oral
      This medication is used to control long-term (chronic) asthma and help decrease the number of asthma attacks. Controlling asthma can decrease time lost from work or school. This drug improves asthma symptoms by blocking substances in the body called leukotrienes. It will not treat a sudden asthma attack.
      * Flovent HFA Inhl
      Fluticasone is a corticosteroid that works directly in the lungs to make breathing easier by reducing the swelling and inflammation of the airways. This medication must be used regularly to prevent the wheezing and shortness of breath caused by asthma, bronchitis, or some types of emphysema.
      * Alvesco Inhl
      Ciclesonide is used to prevent and reduce the symptoms (wheezing and shortness of breath) caused by asthma. Controlling asthma symptoms may decrease time lost from work or school. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It works by reducing the swelling of the airways in the lungs to make breathing easier.
      * Ciclesonide Inhl
      Ciclesonide is used to prevent and reduce the symptoms (wheezing and shortness of breath) caused by asthma. Controlling asthma symptoms may decrease time lost from work or school. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It works by reducing the swelling of the airways in the lungs to make breathing easier.
      * Formoterol Fumarate Inhl
      Formoterol is used as a long-term (maintenance) treatment to prevent or decrease breathing problems caused by ongoing lung diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema). Formoterol belongs to the class of drugs known as long-acting inhaled beta-agonists. It works by opening air passages in the lungs to make breathing easier. This effect helps to reduce wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
      * Zyflo CR Oral
      This medication is used to prevent asthma symptoms and to decrease the number of asthma attacks. Controlling your asthma can improve your ability to exercise, decrease time lost from work or school, and decrease the number of times you need to use your quick-relief inhaler (e.g., albuterol, salbutamol). This drug works by decreasing the amount of certain natural substances (leukotrienes) made by the body. Leukotrienes may cause or worsen asthma.
      * Zileuton Oral
      This medication is used to prevent asthma symptoms and to decrease the number of asthma attacks. Controlling your asthma can improve your ability to exercise, decrease time lost from work or school, and decrease the number of times you need to use your quick-relief inhaler (e.g., albuterol, salbutamol). This drug works by decreasing the amount of certain natural substances (leukotrienes) made by the body. Leukotrienes may cause or worsen asthma.
      *This list provided by the following link:http://www.healthcentral.com/asthma/find-drug.html

      As a fellow Allergy sufferer, I hope one day we find the cure for asthma and respiratory problems, until then, I’ll be thankful there are medications to help us stay as healthy and active as possible regardless our medical condition.
      I hope this helps.

      Best Wishes,

      Roy Shaw
      RoyOnRescue.com

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  2. I’ve been one to have seemingly random asthma attacks, and so the last rescue inhaler I had actually expired before I used it more than a couple of times. My Dad also has asthma, but much worse than I.

    One thing that has helped him was a pressure point… I wish I knew the exact treatment, but my Dad was having an asthma attack during a martial arts class and his instructor was able to stop the attack almost instantly! I wish I had been there to see what exactly he did, because I’d love to learn something like that just as I’ve learned CPR.

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