Shortness of breath can occur suddenly, for a variety of reasons. Anyone is expected to know first aid for shortness of breath, because it can prevent sufferers from experiencing respiratory arrest which can be fatal.
Shortness of breath can mean that a person feels they are not getting enough air, cannot breathe freely, or feels short of breath. This condition can occur at any time, whether walking, running, or even sitting.
Shortness of Breath First Aid Stages
Shortness of breath is often caused by heart or lung problems, including heart attacks, congestive heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, asthma, or respiratory infections. Apart from problems with the heart and lungs, shortness of breath can also occur due to stomach ulcers, neck injuries or almost drowning.
When experiencing shortness of breath, a person usually shows signs of rapid breathing, looks anxious and restless, sleepy or looks confused, blue lips, difficulty speaking, and excessive sweating.
If you see someone experiencing shortness of breath, here is the first aid you can do:
- Immediately move the patient to a safe place and let him rest.
- Help the sufferer to position his body as comfortable as possible, either by sitting, standing or lying down.
- Loosen the patient’s clothing.
- Do not give any food or drink, and help sufferers to take their personal medications, such as asthma relievers.
- Stay with the patient until medical help arrives. Avoid assuming that the condition is good even though the complaint has subsided.
- If the sufferer of shortness of breath previously had an injury to the chest and neck, avoid excessive movement.
- To overcome shortness of breath due to choking, immediately do the Heimlich maneuver.
You should also contact the emergency room or take the patient to the nearest hospital. If a person with shortness of breath suddenly stops breathing and has a cardiac arrest, you can do CPR if you have received training.
Conditions of shortness of breath that need to be watched out for
You should be aware of shortness of breath conditions accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Difficulty sleeping due to shortness of breath.
- Respiratory tract infection
- Bleeding cough
- A cough that doesn’t go away after 2-3 weeks
- Night sweats when the room temperature is cool, or unexplained weight loss
- Gasping for breath during light activity
If you experience shortness of breath followed by the above symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor to get an examination and treatment.