Special Feature

Photo of a mannequin used for CPR training

The sudden obstruction of air to the body can cause a lot of discomfort and can be very scary. Although there are always sudden illnesses that can throw us off, most breathing emergencies can be prepared for. Every household needs an emergency action plan.

In this plan, breathing emergencies should be a priority. People who are having trouble breathing will have different signs and symptoms to look out for. So, what are the steps to recognize emergency breathing situations and how can we help? 

The first step is recognition, but what are we looking for? Once we recognize that someone is having a breathing emergency, we must act quickly. If a situation is out of your comfort zone, call for help or have someone else call for you. Next, look for further abnormal signs and symptoms to confirm. The first sign is color change, which indicates poor circulation. If you see this, do your best to put the person into a comfortable position. In addition, get consent to help move any restrictive clothing from their body. This should take pressure off of the victim’s body and lower their breathing rate.

The next steps are to provide the victim with any prescribed medications they might already have for breathing emergencies such as an inhaler or EpiPen. After helping, do your best to keep the victim calm until help arrives or until the problems are resolved. Additional items such as oxygen tanks and oximeters are great to have around, although some devices require training to use.

Although these tips are helpful, nothing can replace the proper training and certification which is recommended for you to best help in an emergency. Safety training is currently available monthly at the Student Rec & Wellness Center for students. For more tips and information, please visit us at asirecreation.org.

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