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- Here are some things you may not know about asthma, and the treatment for it:
- There is a form of asthma called cough-variant asthma, where a dry non-productive cough is the only symptom
- If your student has not used his or her inhaler for 3 or more days, or if it is brand new, the inhaler should be primed.
- To do this, "administer" 4 puffs of medication into the air.
- Do this BEFORE use of inhaler to ensure medication is ready to deliver
- Spacers are a great way to ensure your student is getting all of the medication delivered by their rescue inhalers. Ask their doctor about spacers today!
- Early symptoms of asthma can include:
- Shortness of breath, especially with activity,
- Inability to stand or sit still,
- Restless sleep,
- Complaint of the chest feeling "tight"
- Late (urgent - call 911!!) symptoms of asthma include:
- Changes in color - student appears to be blue or gray in the face, lips, and nail beds,
- Use of inhaler is ineffective,
- Visible "pulling in" during inhalation between rib bones, and bones in the neck,
- These are known as "retractions," and are a better indicator of the severity of airway inflammation than is wheezing!
- Peak Flow is in orange or red zones,
- Nasal flaring
- If you have a pulse oximeter at home, do not use this as the only assessment tool!
- Ensure that it is designed for pediatrics
- Living at home with smokers increases risks of asthma attacks
- Roughly 40% of asthmatics that present to the ER live with smokers!
- Please speak with your child's doctor about starting an asthma action plan. If they already have one, please provide that to your child's school nurse so he or she can better care for your student!