Asthma First Aid
Asthma first aid is required when someone is having an asthma flare-up or asthma attack. See our Assessing Asthma Symptoms page about the three levels of asthma flare-ups and asthma attacks.
If the asthma attack or flare-up is severe or life-threatening, call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance, and then start asthma first aid.
If the person is experiencing a mild-to-moderate asthma attack, start asthma first aid.
Below is the current Asthma First Aid advice (June 2021)
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should I expect an asthma flare-up to last? An asthma flare-up can come on slowly, over hours, days or even weeks, or very quickly over minutes. A sudden or severe asthma flare-up is sometimes called an asthma attack.
Why do asthma flare-ups increase around the back-to-school period? Busy holiday periods can disrupt the routine of taking daily prescribed preventer medicines, and may also mean that Asthma Action Plans are not as strictly adhered to as at other times. Returning to school can also present new environmental allergens or the spread of viruses amongst students.
Other than when returning to school, at what other times are asthma flare-ups more common? Cold and flu are the most common cause of asthma flare-ups in children. School Nurses and First Aiders should also be aware and particularly vigilant on days of unusual weather conditions, high pollen or poor air quality, especially during bushfire season. A student's Asthma Action Plan, and two-way communication with their parent or carer, should highlight their flare-up triggers.
What first aid supplies do I need for asthma first aid? Asthma sufferers must have their own written Asthma Action Plan, kept accessible at all times by the school. An Asthma Emergency Module is an essential addition to a School First Aid Room, off-site first aid kit, and an asthma-effected student's personal Medical ID Emergency Pouch. Supplies of disposable spacers should always be on hand.