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Breathing difficulties - first aid

  • Alternative Names

    Difficulty breathing - first aid; Dyspnea - first aid; Shortness of breath - first aid


    Prevention
    • Wear a medical alert tag if you have a pre-existing breathing condition, such as asthma.
    • If you have a history of severe allergic reactions, carry an epinephrine pen and wear a medical alert tag. Your doctor will teach you how to use the epi pen.
    • If you have asthma or allergies, eliminate household allergy triggers like dust mites and mold.
    • Don't smoke and keep away from secondhand smoke. Don't allow smoking in your home.
    • If you have asthma, see the article on asthma to learn ways to manage it.
    • Make sure your child obtains the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine.
    • When traveling by airplane, get up and walk around once in awhile to avoid forming blood clots in your legs. Clots can break off and lodge in your lungs. If traveling by car, stop and walk around regularly.
    • Lose weight. You are more likely to feel winded if you are overweight. You are also at greater risk for heart disease and heart attack.

    References

    Manno M. Pediatric respiratory emergencies: upper airway obstruction and infections. In: Marx J, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2006: chap 166.

    Thomas SH, Brown DFM. Foreign bodies. In: Marx J, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2006: chap 57.