Asthma: The one thing ‘absolutely not to do’ if someone has an asthma attack – Dr Ellie

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Asthma is a common condition, affecting more than five million people in the UK. The most problematic part about asthma is the life-threatening asthma attacks. These medical emergencies kill three people in the UK every day, according to the NHS. Dr Ellie busts one myth about treating these attacks.

You might have heard about a simple remedy for asthma attacks – using a brown bag to breathe in and out.

The show’s presenter Phillip Schofield checked with the doctor whether this technique is really suitable for treating an asthma attack.

To which Dr Ellie responded: “Brown paper bag is for when someone’s having a panic attack.

“Absolutely do not do that if somebody is having an asthma attack.”

Another presenter on the show Rochelle Humes noted: “That seems like a real old-fashion thing, give him a brown paper bag.”

Dr Ellie added: “That’s for panic, definitely not for asthma.”

The doctor explained that asthma attacks need to be taken seriously as they are “medical emergencies”.

She shared what to do in case someone in your close proximity suffers from an asthma attack.

Dr Ellie said: “The first thing to do is, remember that an asthma attack is actually a medical emergency, so it’s absolutely appropriate if you don’t feel confident, immediately to call 999.

“Asthma kills people every day in the UK, so call 999, that’s the first thing.

“Sit the person up and look for this blue inhaler, which is the reliever inhaler.”

“And if they can, then you should try and give them the inhaler,” she explained showing the inhaler.

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