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Asthma is a disorder of the smaller airways of the lungs. People with asthma have sensitive airways which can narrow when exposed to certain ‘triggers’, leading to difficulty in breathing. [ANZCOR Guideline 9.2.5]

Common symptoms of asthma are: wheezing, shortness of breath, a feeling of tightness in the chest, coughing and speaking in one or two word clusters


  1. Remove the trigger 

  2. Sit patient upright; rest and reassure

  3. Encourage exhalation with pursed lips

  4. Reliever medication: 1 x 4 x 4 x 4 (with spacer)

  5. Hydrate

Evacuation: Consider: Any persistent asthma event or where the trigger cannot be removed Rapid: Any asthma event unresponsive to salbutamol and/or any patient with underlying co-morbidities (eg: chest infection)

Special Note: Ensure you check any thunderstorm asthma warnings and potentially change intended plans if required. 

Health Direct Thunderstorm Asthma Link 


Below are some more useful links, videos and downloads regarding Asthma 

The following videos:

  • Explain the pathophysiology of Asthma

  • Explain Thunderstorm Asthma

  • Show an asthma attack with the distinct wheeze (please NOTE this is not the recommended correct usage / administration of the reliever puffer)

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