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Asthma Queensland - © 2009 1 Asthma Awareness & Management in the workplace Presenter:Elaine Peet Asthma Management Course Health (Drugs and Poisons) Legislation 1996 Amended 2008
At end of workshop, you will be able to… Understand the need for blue reliever medication to a person having an asthma attack, within your current work setting. Have knowledge of the Asthma Friendly Workplace Guidelines. Asthma Queensland - © 2009 2
Contents What is asthma? General asthma symptoms Signs of worsening asthma Asthma medications Why use a spacer Recognising and assessing an asthma attack Managing an asthma attack Exercise induced asthma Relevant Queensland legislation Asthma Queensland - © 2009 3
Asthma in Australia 1 in 9 children (0 – 15 years) – Most common reason for presenting to emergency 1 in 10 adults 1 in 10 over 65 years of age – Most deaths from asthma occur in people over 65 years of age Asthma Queensland - © 2009 Sources: Asthma in Australia 2008 4 10% 11%
Where does asthma occur? nose throat wind pipe airways air sacs diaphragm Asthma Queensland - © 2009 5
What is asthma? People with asthma have trouble getting air in and out of their lungs The airways in the lungs become narrow, making it difficult to breathe Asthma Queensland - © 2009 6 Normal airway or when asthma is well managed The lining of the airways becomes red, swollen and sensitive The muscles around the airways tighten
Airways Normal airway or asthma well managed – pink – open – muscles relax Asthma Queensland - © 2009 7
Airways during asthma The lining of the airway becomes red, swollen and sensitive and may produce extra mucus The muscles around the airway tighten Asthma Queensland - © 2009 8
General asthma symptoms Cough – the body’s attempt to open up and clear the narrowed airways Wheeze – the whistling sound made as the air is pushed out through narrowed airways Shortness of breath – difficulty moving air in and out of the narrowed airways Chest tightness – the feeling when the muscles have tightened round the airways Asthma Queensland - © 2009 9
Worsening asthma: what you may see Mild worseningModerate worseningSevere worsening No problem speakingSpeaking in short sentences only Only able to say few words in one breath Soft wheezeLoud wheezeVery stressed and anxious, pale, sweaty Minor trouble breathingClear difficulty breathingGasping for breath CoughPersistent coughMay have blue lips Asthma Queensland - © 2009 10
Other signs of worsening asthma Needing blue reliever more than 3 x a week Symptoms more than 3 x a week Blue reliever not working as well as usual or lasting as long Waking overnight or in morning with symptoms Reduced ability to do usual activities Asthma Queensland - © 2009 11
Exercise induced asthma Trigger for 80% of people with asthma Can occur during and/or after exercise More likely if unwell or asthma is poorly controlled Asthma Queensland - © 2009 12
Exercise induced asthma: How do you know? “Do you feel more breathless, tight in chest or wheezy 5 to 10 mins after you stop exercising than during exercise?” Asthma Queensland - © 2009 13
Asthma medications Preventer Asthma Queensland - © 2009 14 USE DAILY Use to stop redness, swelling, sensitivity and extra mucus Reliever USE WHEN NEEDED Use to relax muscle around the airways
Medication - short acting relievers Use in Asthma First Aid Blue/grey colour Relieves symptoms within 4 minutes Can be used before exercise Safe and non-addictive Ventolin, Airomir, Asmol, Bricanyl Side effects – shaky hands, racing heart Store medication below 30 degrees celsius Asthma Queensland - © 2009 15
Using a blue reliever to prevent exercise induced asthma Before exercise: – Warm up effectively – Use blue reliever at least 5 minutes before exercise – Do not exercise if unwell with asthma After exercise: - Cool down effectively - Monitor for signs of worsening asthma Asthma Queensland - © 2009 16
Using a blue reliever to manage exercise induced asthma During exercise, if symptoms occur: – Stop activity and take blue reliever medication – Return to activity only when symptoms subside – If symptoms recur, take blue reliever medication. – Do NOT return to activity Asthma Queensland - © 2009 17
Medications: Preventers Not for Asthma First Aid Reduce frequency and severity of attacks Taken regularly every day at home Various types and colours Asthma Queensland - © 2009 18
Asthma Queensland - © 2009 Medication: Longer Acting Relievers Not for Asthma First Aid Relaxes airways for 12 hrs Takes up to 30 mins to work Not to be used without a preventer Serevent, Oxis
Asthma Queensland - © 2009 Medication: Combination Not for Asthma First Aid Combined preventer and longer acting reliever Dries up mucus, reduces swelling and relaxes muscles Taken regularly every day at home Seretide, Symbicort
Delivery devices Asthma Queensland - © 2009 21 Puffer and spacer with a facemask Puffer and spacer
What is a spacer? A clear plastic tube Stores puffed medication, allowing it to be breathed in Asthma Queensland - © 2009 22
Why use a spacer? Results in up to 40% of medication reaching lungs (compared to 10% with puffer alone) Reduces side effects Easier to use AFQ recommends all puffer medications are delivered via a spacer. Asthma Queensland - © 2009 23
Asthma Queensland - © March 2009 Why use a spacer? Using spacer and puffer 40% reaches lungs Using puffer alone 10% reaches lungs
Which spacer for whom? Infant – 4/5 years of age use a small volume spacer use a facemask with the spacer. Children above 4/5 years of age may use a large volume spacer Asthma Queensland - © 2009 25
How to use a puffer and spacer 1. Assemble spacer, if required 2. Remove the cap from the puffer 3. Hold puffer upright and shake well 4. Put the puffer mouthpiece into the end of the spacer 5. Tilt chin up and breathe out 6. Place the mouthpiece into your mouth and make a good seal with your lips. If using a spacer with a facemask, make a good seal over mouth and nose 7. Fire one puff of the puffer into the spacer 8. Breathe in and out for 4 breaths, maintaining seal 9. For additional puffs, repeat steps 3 - 8 Asthma Queensland - © 2009 26
Cleaning a spacer Clean after each use Dismantle spacer and wash in detergent and hot water Do not rinse or wipe dry – allow to air dry When dry, wipe mouth piece with 70% alcohol swab Discard and replace spacer if contaminated with blood Ensure spacer is dry before returning to first aid kit Do not store in a plastic bag Asthma Queensland - © 2009 27
Recognising and assessing an asthma attack Mild Attack – Cough – Soft wheeze – Minor trouble breathing – No problem speaking in sentences Severe Attack – (Dial 000 for an ambulance) – Very stressed and anxious – Gasping for breath Moderate Attack – Persistent cough – Loud wheeze – Clear difficulty breathing – Able to speak in short sentences only – Unable to speak more than a few words in one breath – Pale and sweaty – May have blue lips Asthma Queensland - © 2009 28
To manage an asthma attack… time is critical Either: Follow the person’s Asthma Action Plan (if readily available) Or Follow the nationally recognised 4 step Asthma First Aid procedure Asthma Queensland - © 2009 29
Asthma First Aid Asthma Queensland - © 2009 30
Asthma Queensland - © 2009 Asthma First Aid Step 1 Sit the adult or child down Remain calm Provide reassurance Do not leave the person alone
Asthma Queensland - © 2009 Asthma First Aid Step 2 Give 4 puffs of a blue reliever One puff at a time through a spacer Ask the adult or child to take 4 breaths from the spacer after each puff
Asthma Queensland - © 2009 Asthma First Aid Step 3 Wait 4 minutes.
Asthma Queensland - © 2009 Asthma First Aid Step 4 If there is little or no improvement, repeat steps 2 and 3. If there is still little or no improvement, call an ambulance immediately. Continue to repeat steps 2 and 3 while waiting for the ambulance.
Asthma Queensland - © 2009 Asthma First Aid 1 2 3 4
Health (drugs and poisons) Regulation 1996 – Queensland Health Amended September 2008: “To the extent necessary to perform first aid at a workplace or community event, a person who has completed an asthma management course approved by the chief executive is authorised to administer S3 salbutamol or S3 terbutaline.” – In this section – community event includes a sporting or recreational event. Asthma Queensland - © 2009 36
Health (drugs and poisons) Regulation 1996 To purchase salbutamol or terbutaline: Must have completed Asthma First Aid Workshop (as approved by Queensland Government) Must have certificate or document that is available for viewing at time of purchasing reliever medication Asthma Queensland - © 2009 37
What you can now do… Recognize an asthma attack and if needed assist in giving blue reliever medication Help to keep your workplace Asthma Friendly Understand the need to have Asthma First Aid available in the workplace Asthma Queensland - © 2009 38
The Asthma Foundation of Queensland Services include: Nationally accredited courses for health professionals Free monthly community asthma workshops Community asthma education programs Research grants Support and information Asthma Info Line 1800 645 130 Website: www.asthmaqld.org.au Asthma Queensland - © 2009 39
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