Recognising the Signs and Symptoms of Asthma and First Aid Steps You Should Know

Asthma is a common condition that affects many Australians, but do you know what to do if someone is having an asthma attack? Understanding Asthma First Aid can be lifesaving. This blog follows First Aid Asthma guidelines and outlines how to recognise the signs and symptoms of asthma as well as the crucial first aid steps you should take.

Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

  1. Shortness of breath: This is usually the first and most noticeable symptom.
  2. Wheezing: A whistling sound when breathing, often heard more clearly when exhaling.
  3. Tightness in the Chest: The individual may describe this feeling as a heavy weight on their chest.
  4. Persistent Cough: A dry, hacking cough that persists, especially at night or early morning.

Asthma First Aid: Immediate Steps for Relief

If someone is experiencing these symptoms, it’s crucial to act quickly. Here’s what to do according to First Aid Asthma guidelines:

Step 1: Sit the Person Upright

Don’t let the person lie down. An upright posture makes breathing easier.

Step 2: Give 4 Separate Puffs of Reliever Puffer

Administer four puffs of a reliever puffer, such as Ventolin. Make sure each puff is taken separately, shaking the puffer between puffs.

Step 3: Wait 4 Minutes

After administering the medication, wait four minutes. If there is no improvement, give another set of four puffs.

When to Seek Emergency Help

If the person is not showing any signs of improvement after following these steps, or if the person’s life seems to be in immediate danger, it’s crucial to call emergency services right away.


Recognising the signs and symptoms of asthma and acting quickly can make a significant difference in the outcome of an asthma attack. Be sure to follow Asthma Australia’s guidelines for asthma first aid to ensure you’re taking the right steps to assist someone in need.

For more detailed information and training, consider enrolling in a first aid course with Brisbane First Aid. Our courses are designed to equip you with the skills you need to handle various emergency situations, including asthma attacks.

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