Asthma Attack? No Wait Emergency Services from iCare ER and Urgent Care
You probably aren’t conscious of your breathing until you suddenly have a problem and feel like you can’t get enough air. Having an asthma attack can be both alarming and frightening, and it is important to seek medical attention when the airways are inflamed.
Even if you are proactive about controlling your asthma with medication and lifestyle, the symptoms can flare unexpectedly. If an asthma emergency occurs, then you should head to an emergency room right away.
Symptoms of an Asthma Attack
Common asthma attack symptoms include:
- Tightness in the chest
- Difficulty expelling air from the lungs
The severity of the asthma attack will affect the intensity of these symptoms.
Should You Go to the ER for an Asthma Attack?
When a mild asthma attack occurs, the symptoms will go away when you sit down. If a severe asthma attack occurs, then the symptoms are uncontrollable and can be dangerous without medical treatment. Don’t hesitate to go to the emergency room if you are unsure about whether treatment is needed.
These symptoms indicate you are experiencing an asthma emergency and should go to the nearest emergency room right away:
- Feeling out of breath, even when sitting still
- Difficulty with normal activities, such as talking or walking
- The skin appears “sucked in” around the ribcage (common for children)
- Blue tinted fingernails or lips
- Confusion or exhaustion
- Symptoms don’t improve after using your asthma inhaler
- Anxiety with the asthma symptoms
When severe symptoms occur, it can be dangerous to delay treatment. So, it is best to seek emergency services immediately.
The benefit of choosing iCare ER and Urgent Care is that we offer both emergency room and urgent care services. The initial consultation is used to determine what level of care is needed, so you won’t pay ER prices if emergency services are not required.
Creating an Emergency Plan for Asthma Attacks
Every person with asthma should have a treatment plan spelled out, so they know what to do if an asthma emergency occurs. This plan might include using an emergency inhaler, taking a peak flow reading if possible, then calling 911 or going to an emergency room.
Designing this emergency treatment plan in advance is key to ensure that your family and friends know what to do when treatment is required. Communicate the details with your loved ones so they can assist if you need help. Also, make sure to always have your inhaler on hand to administer medication and open the airways at the same time.
What to Expect at the ER
Asthma attack treatments in the ER vary depending on the severity of symptoms. Treatments might include medications administered through a nebulizer or inhaler that works to open the airways. Sometimes corticosteroids can reduce inflammation, and be administered through an IV or pill. It is also common to use extra oxygen.
Specific tests can be used to identify how well the treatments are working. For example, a peak flow reading or spirometry can measure your ability to breathe out. Blood oxygen levels can be tracked through a finger device to determine if you are getting enough oxygen.
Even if your symptoms dissipate quickly, the doctors will probably want you to stay for a few hours to monitor things and make sure the symptoms stay under control. If the severe asthma symptoms continue after a few hours of treatment, then hospitalization might be recommended.
iCare ER and Urgent Care is Here to Help
If you are having an asthma attack, then our board-certified medical team is here to assist. We offer both emergency and urgent care services in one location, giving you a customized experience to fit your needs. For more information about available services, call iCare ER and Urgent Care at (214) 407-8668.