May 19, 2021

Interviewer: Somebody is suffering from a severe asthma attack. Dr. Troy Madsen is an emergency room physician. What should you do?

Dr. Madsen: Well, you can typically recognize an asthma attack because a person just is struggling to breathe. Be aware that asthma kills people every year. So it's a very, very serious thing. So often a person is trying to get air in. They're trying to breathe. You see the neck muscle is kind of sucking in as they're trying to pull air in. They try and speak, they can't get full sentences out. The first thing I would say would be to call 911. You need to get medical attention there quickly.

Number two is that these people, if they have asthma, will often have an inhaler, something they can take to help them open up their airways, get them breathing. Try and find that. Give them a couple puffs of it.

Of course, number three, get them medical attention. Whether through 911, driving them to the emergency department, get them there and get the help they need.


updated: May 19, 2021
originally published: May 22, 2019

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