Shortness of breath: causes, recommendations of specialists, first aid

The most common complaints voiced by patients at a physician appointment are shortness of breath and suffocation symptoms. It is these subjective sensations that provoked the patient’s anxiety, which subsequently ends with an appeal to the clinic, an ambulance call and can become a good reason for emergency hospitalization.

Shortness of breath is considered to be a respiratory disorder, which is caused by an increase in its frequency or depth. This condition, as a rule, is accompanied by a feeling of lack of air (asphyxiation), and in some cases, fear or fear. 

As a rule, shortness of breath is a symptom of a disease. But she must be able to distinguish from noisy breathing due to severe nervous breakdown or hysteria (when calming, noisy breathing is interrupted by deep sighs).

There are many causes for shortness of breath. The order of measures taken and their type for each individual case will be different. They will depend on the severity (suddenness) of an attack of suffocation or shortness of breath gradually increasing and wearing a chronic nature. 

Causes of shortness of breath

The most common causes of an acute attack of shortness of breath are:

  • bronchial asthma and its attacks;
  • complication of obstructive bronchitis;
  • a sharp jump in sugar and blood acetone in diabetics;
  • “Cardiac asthma”;
  • the presence of a foreign body in the airways;
  • laryngeal cramps with severe inflammation or allergies;
  • blood clots in the vessels of the lungs or brain;
  • severe infectious and inflammatory diseases accompanied by high fever (abscess, meningitis, massive pneumonia, etc.).  

Recommendations of specialists for different types of shortness of breath

If there are complaints in a patient suffering from bronchial asthma or obstructive bronchitis for some time and this diagnosis has been established by doctors, it is first necessary to use a special aerosol containing bronchodilating components (salbutamol, fenoterol or berodual). These substances can relieve bronchial spasm and contribute to the flow of air and its circulation in the lungs. To do this, it is enough to carry out 1-2 inhalations, which allow you to localize an asthma attack. 

However, the following recommendations should be observed:

  • You can not carry out 2 inhalations in a row, re-injection can be done after 20 minutes. With more frequent use of the inhaler, its therapeutic effect does not increase, but side effects appear – a change in heartbeat and blood pressure; 
  • Do not abuse the inhaler. During the day, the maximum number of injections should not exceed 6-8 times; 
  • If after repeated use of the inhaler shortness of breath only intensifies, an ambulance must be called urgently;
  • The erratic, frequent use of the inhaler with a prolonged attack of suffocation can be life threatening.

In case of a sudden attack of shortness of breath or suffocation, which is provoked by other reasons, you should adhere to the following basic rule – do not self-medicate and do not give any medications to the patient, since this can harm him, you need to immediately call an ambulance.

What measures can be taken before the emergence of an ambulance?

Ventilate the room in which the patient is located, providing fresh air through an open window (air conditioning is not suitable in this case), free him from tight clothes. All subsequent actions will depend on the causes of shortness of breath.

If the patient is a diabetic, then you need to measure blood sugar with a glucometer. At high sugar levels, an injection of insulin is recommended, but only doctors can do this.

Cores need to measure pressure, offer to sit down. You do not need to put in a bed, because breathing in this position will be much harder. Lower the limbs down to ensure the outflow of excess blood from the heart to the legs. With increased pressure in hypertensive patients, you should take the drug for pressure previously prescribed by your doctor.

event_note December 20, 2019

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