Published on March 5, 2012 at 5:23 PM
The National Asthma Council Australia has updated its popular First Aid for Asthma chart and launched a new paediatric Kids’ First Aid for Asthma chart, with advice reflecting the latest evidence and medications.
Both charts clearly outline the established four step process for handling an asthma attack using typical reliever medications such as Ventolin, Asmol or Airomir, including treatment information as well as practical advice on how to help someone in physical distress use their asthma inhaler correctly and when to call an ambulance.
For the first time, the First Aid for Asthma chart also includes an alternate treatment column showing in detail how Bricanyl or Symbicort can be used in an emergency, even if this is not the patient’s standard medication. The paediatric version features similar advice for Bricanyl.
Information on spacer use and how to improvise a spacer for young children by delivering reliever medication through cupped hands is also included on the Kids’ First Aid for Asthma chart.
Developed by a multidisciplinary panel of medical experts including respiratory physicians and primary care health professionals, the new charts will be a handy education tool to use with patients and their families as part of a comprehensive asthma management program.
According to National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson, Professor Adam Jaffé, head of Sydney Children’s Hospital’s respiratory department and part of the chart development team, it’s vital all Australians feel comfortable providing emergency first aid, especially to a child struggling to breathe given that around one in ten Australian children have asthma.
“Everyone knows a child with asthma so it’s imperative people recognise the signs of an attack, know how to follow the four steps outlined in the first aid chart and know when to call for help,” he said.
The First Aid for Asthma chart and Kids’ First Aid for Asthma chart can be downloaded from the National Asthma Council Australia website: www.nationalasthma.org.au - just click the red ‘Emergency’ tab on the home page. Health professionals can also order copies of the charts through the website.