asthma is not just a wheeze

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Asthma is not just a Wheeze. What is Asthma. Asthma is a chronic lung disease, which is characterized by attacks of breathing difficulty. Goals for today. Recognize the signs and symptoms of an asthma attack Understand the plan for an asthma attack at school Deliver proper treatment. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Asthma is not just a Wheeze

  • What is Asthma Asthma is a chronic lung disease, which is characterized by attacks of breathing difficulty.

  • Goals for todayRecognize the signs and symptoms of an asthma attackUnderstand the plan for an asthma attack at schoolDeliver proper treatment

  • Signs and symptomsCoughing Tightness in chestWheezingGasping for airProlonged expirationColor changes (pale or blue).

  • TreatmentAvoiding triggerExerciseAllergiesIllnessWeather and Air QualityRecognizing symptomsMedication

  • What to do for an asthma attack If you note the symptoms of an asthma attack, prompt treatment is necessary.Stop the student from what they are doing and have them sit upright.

  • Types of inhalers

  • Use of a Peak Flow MeterGreen Zone (80 to 100 percent of your personal best number) signals all clear. No asthma symptoms are present, and you may take your medicines as usual. Yellow Zone (50 to 80 percent of your personal best number) signals caution. You may be having an episode of asthma that requires an increase in your medicines. Or your overall asthma may not be under control, and the doctor may need to change your medicine plan. Red Zone (below 50 percent of your personal best number) signals a medical alert. You must take an inhaled beta2-agonist right away and call your doctor immediately if your peak flow number does not return to the Yellow or Green Zone and stay in that zone.

  • Using an inhaler can be tricky Care must be taken that the inhaler is used correctly to ensure that the medication gets to the lungs and not the back of the throat.

  • Using the inhaler A metered dose inhaler (MDI) delivers a specific amount of medicine in aerosol form. This makes it possible to inhale the medication, instead of taking it in pill form. MDI's are commonly used to treat asthma, COPD, and other respiratory conditions.

  • Take off the cap and shake the inhaler hard.

  • Breathe out all the way.

  • Hold the inhaler 1 to 2 inches in front of the mouth (about the width of two fingers).

  • Start breathing in slowly through the mouth, and then press down on the inhaler one time. Breathe in slowly and as deeply as possible.

  • Slowly count to 10 while they hold their breath (if they can). This lets the medicine reach deep into the lungs. . This is referred to as a puff.

  • If the doctor prescribed more than one puff of medicine, repeat this procedure, starting with step 2. For inhaled quick-relief medicine (beta-agonists), wait about one minute between puffs. There is no need to wait between puffs for other medicines.

  • Rinse the mouth afterward to help reduce unwanted side effects.

  • When to call 911If the student is getting worse or has no improvement in 15-20 minutesIf color changes are notedIf they are unable to speak in full sentences

  • At SchoolHave a Classroom Health Care PlanKnow where the medication is to be stored.Consider having a back-up inhaler at a central locationRemember minutes count

  • Prepared by: Mary Clark RN, NCSNReviewed by: Paula Peterson APNP Primary Childrens Hospital Salt Lake City, UtahJMJ Publishers1156 Wilson Ave.Salt Lake City, Utah 84105801 467-5083

    Introduce yourself. Most people know someone who has asthma. It is the most common chronic health problem for children.Asthma is caused by spasms of the muscles in the walls of the air passages in the lungs. It is not contagious but tends to run in families.It can be very severe or very mild, but most asthma can be well controlled with treatment.Asthma can be a frightening experience for the child experiencing the symptoms, but also for the people around them. Knowing how to handle this kind of emergency at school is paramount. Early recognition and treatment can save not only distress, but maybe a life as well.Asthma can be aggravated or triggered by allergy to pollen or dust, viral illness, cold, emotions, or exercise. There is no cure but asthma can be controlled with proper diagnosis and managementTriggers include exercise, allergies, and viral illness. Many students may need to take some medication (MDI) before they exercise. Maybe you have noticed some athletes on television using their inhalers before they compete. The weather can also play a role in asthma control. Cold weather can trigger some asthma and air quality can be a large factor. Air quality can dictate whether or not the student can go to recess outside. Asthma medicines fall into two categories: quick-relief (or rescue) medicines and preventive (controller) medicines. Both treatments have their place. Preventive asthma medicines can help prevent asthma symptoms and attacks from starting. The triggers for asthma can be unique for every child. Some common sense can help reduce their frequency and severity. Preventive medication is taken at home on a daily basis, but never used to treat an asthma attack. Quick-relief medicines provide fast relief from the common symptoms that accompany asthma attacks. Examples of some quick-relief medicines include: Albuterol, Proventil, Ventolin, Maxair, Atrovent. There are many different types of inhalers. (Child specific information should be included.) A peak flow meter is an inexpensive, hand held device used to measure how the air is moving out of the lungs. Not all doctors use a peak flow meter, but it can be helpful in monitoring asthma and with determining the severity of an asthma attack. The use of a peak flow meter is a tool that needs to be established before an asthma attack ever starts. It in no way will assist the child with his/her breathing, but if they are skilled using the device and know their target ranges, it can give you important information about what they need. Many people are afraid that the student will become dependent on the medication or that they will build up a resistance to the medication. This simply is not true. Obviously you do not want your student to over use any medication, but if they are experiencing an asthma attack they need their medication as soon as possible.

    Knowing where the inhaler is kept and having an extra inhaler on hand is very important. Many students are carrying their own inhalers. This helps for independent, prompt treatment. At school, however, it might be a good idea to have a back-up inhaler in case for any reason, the student does not have the inhaler with them. The students inhaler could be empty or not functioning. Being prepared will make this experience a whole lot easier for everyone involved.


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