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First aid to be given for breathing problem and chest pain?

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Pediatrician, Critical Care
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 208 Questions
Question
please let me know if someone
1. Suffers from breathing problem...what is the immediate first aid we should provide
2. If someone suffers from chest pain what is the immediate first aid we should provide
Posted Thu, 25 Apr 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
 
 
Answered by Dr. Tejas Shah 4 hours later
Hi,

Causes of Breathing problems & chest pain are very different in children and adults. Even in adults, there can be many causes for these symptoms.

First aid measures mentioned below are generalized, applicable mainly to adults.

For sudden/severe Breathing problems:
1. Ask them to relax
2. Loosen any tight clothing
3. Make them sit in a comfortable position
4. Help the person take any regular/emergency medications/inhaler for Asthma/COPD (Chronic chest problem, especially in middle-older age people) if they have been prescribed by their doctor
5. Check that they are breathing, colour of skin and if you can, feel for pulse. If needed and you have been trained - CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) may be needed if they are not breathing, they are pale/blue or there is no pulse.
6. Call emergency ambulance services
7. If there are any open wounds on the chest or neck, bandaging does help if available.


For sudden chest pain: (Could be related to heart, lungs, chest wall, lung blood vessels) etc
1. Ask them to stop any activity and sit in a comfortable position
2. Find out if they had similar problems before and they have been prescribed any emergency medicines for such severe chest pains (i.e. Angina) like Nitroglycerine
3 Assist patient with taking medications
4. If chest pain lasts longer than 10-15 minutes/doesn't subside with their prescribed emergency medicines, please call the emergency services
5. Check that they are breathing, colour of skin and if you can, feel for pulse. If needed and you have been trained - CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) may be needed if they are not breathing, they are pale/blue or there is no pulse.
6. Such severe pain should not be ignored and get the patient checked over in emergency department of the hospital
7. Do not leave person alone, till emergency ambulance service have arrived

I hope your query has been resolved.

If you have any further things to ask, please do not hesitate to write back.

Regards
Dr Tejas Shah
Critical Care Specialist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: First aid to be given for breathing problem and chest pain? 41 minutes later
My mother went to toilet at around 1:30 AM and came back to bed and complaint of breathing problem, we told her to sit in a comfortable position and loosen the blouse. Still she had to problem and immediately we tried to take her to hospital, but when we came down from 2nd to ground floor in lift (in residence), she collapsed. She was breathless, still we took her to hospital. They declared brought dead.

What could be the cause.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Tejas Shah 8 hours later
I am really sorry to hear about your mother. Unfortunate is the state of emergency health services where delay is cause for death in many patients who could survive, by simple emergency treatment.

It is difficult to pinpoint the cause. I would like to know her age, if she suffered from any medical issues, whether she was on any treatment?

Such sudden onset of breathlessness 1. Is related to rhythm disturbances or poor function of heart following heart attack. 2. If she had any lung problems before, sometimes it could be severe wheezing or air leak outside the lung.

Increasingly many institutes in India are running by-stander CPR courses and it can be helpful in situations like this.

May god give you strength in these difficult times.

Regards
Dr Tejas Shah


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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