What to do in an Asthma Emergency Survey Results

09 Feb 2018


The Irish Asthma Society of Ireland recently conducted a survey to find out how much the general population of Ireland really knows about Asthma.  Here are the results:

(Correct answers are in bold)

How do you know when someone is at risk of an asthma attack? [Choose all that apply]
  • Symptoms are slightly worse 
  • Use reliever inhaler daily (excluding before exercise) 
  • Use reliever inhaler once a week 
  • Knowingly exposed to a trigger 
  • All of the above 

If a person with asthma has to use their reliever inhaler more than twice a week, excluding before exercise, they are at risk of suffering an asthma attack.

Which of the following are symptoms of an asthma attack? [choose all that apply]
  • Coughing
  • Shallow breathing 
  • Faintness
  •  Wheezing
  • Chest tightness 
  • Difficulty finishing sentences 
  • Shivering
  • Numbness
  • Rash 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Lips turning blue 
  • All of the above 
An asthma attack can occur:
  • Out of nowhere 
  • After a few days of being more symptomatic 
  • All of the above 

 An asthma attack can occur both out of nowhere and after days of worsening symptoms. For this reason, it is vital that every asthmatic has their reliever inhaler with them at all times.

In the event of an asthma attack, how many puffs of the reliever inhaler (blue inhaler) is safe for:
  • Child under 6 years old can take 6 puffs in ten minutes.
  • Person above 6 years old can take 10 puffs in ten minutes.

 Each can take more puffs if symptoms don’t subside and the ambulance hasn’t arrived within 10minutes. 

A person with asthma should see their healthcare professional after using their reliever inhaler (excluding that taken before exercise) how frequently? (asthma attack prevention)

If you are taking your reliever inhaler more than twice a week you should get your asthma reviewed by your healthcare professional to take measures to prevent an asthma attack.

If someone has suffered an asthma attack but managed to get it under control themselves, should they go to see their healthcare professional?
  • Yes 
  • No 
  • Maybe, depends on severity 

 If you are having an asthma attack, it means that your asthma isn’t being managed as best it can be. Even if the attack subsides after a puff or two, a visit to your healthcare professional should be your next step.

When would you call 999?
  • Straight away 
  • After the first 2 puffs of reliever don’t seem to have worked 
  • After 6-10 puffs have been taken and no improvement 
  • After 15-18 puffs have been taken and no improvement 
  • Never, it will get under control eventually 

You can also call 999 if you are worried or if someone seems to be getting worse despite taking their reliever inhaler

Can one die from an asthma attack?
  • Yes 
  • No 
  • Not directly from it 
  • I don’t know 

 One person a week dies in Ireland due to asthma. 90% of these could have been prevented.