Would A Small Oxygen Tank Benefit Someone With An Asthma Attack


Asked by M Breeze

Would A Small Oxygen Tank Benefit Someone With An Asthma Attack

My friend suffers quite badly with asthma following treatment for pneumonia in hospital and picking up MRSA from the same hospital. He has had a couple of attacks now where he has passed out (he lives on his own). He regularly sees the asthma nurse and visits the doctor when needed but it seems that this does not set his mind at rest then when he is on his own at home. He has two inhalers (one blue and one white) and about once a year needs a few-day course of steroids.

Any advice would be appreciated


Hi there,

My sympathies to your friend. Sounds as though he's had a rough go. Treatment options are always best discussed with the doctor, but I'll try to provide some info that may help. First off, the best preparation for an asthma attack is having an Asthma Action Plan. An action plan provides clues to detecting asthma attacks before they get severe and then also guides the asthmatic in how to react to stop them in their tracks.

Oxygen is sometimes used in the emergency room at a hospital to help someone in a severe asthma attack get the oxygen they need. But it won't resolve the asthma attack. That must be done with a bronchodilator medicine (the rescue or quick-relief inhaler is used at home; IV meds might be given in the hospital, if needed) that relaxes the airways. A steroid might also be needed to address the inflammatory process.

So my answer is that having oxygen in the home is probably not the answer for your friend. He'd still need to use his inhaler. Panicking may be adding to his problems when he has an attack at home alone. So learning how to deal with such panic might be useful. A counselor or asthma educator may be able to help with that.

Good luck!


Answered by Kathi MacNaughton