Microsoft word - asthma management policy


St Albert’s Catholic School is committed to ensuring that all students in our care are safe and
that their wellbeing is maintained. All staff are trained in asthma management and St Albert’s
Catholic School is an accredited Asthma Friendly School.
Asthma is very common in Australian children. It is estimated that one in five children, one
in seven adolescents and one in ten adults may be affected by asthma at some time. Common
symptoms of asthma are wheezy breathing (a whistling noise in the chest), coughing, chest
tightness and breathing difficulty. At school, these symptoms are likely to occur during or
immediately after exercise.

Whilst most children and adolescents have mild asthma and may only need occasional
medication, asthma severity can vary considerably and even students with mild asthma may
experience a severe attack from time to time. Those with extreme asthma need medication on
a daily basis and may require additional medication at school.

Asthma Management
All students who have asthma should be encouraged to carry medication on their person for
self-administration to relieve asthma symptoms.
Given that asthma is so common, it is important that teachers and school staff are aware of
asthma symptoms and able to respond to these competently and appropriately.
Asthma can be triggered by certain factors, which include exercise, viral infections, allergies,
strong emotions, weather changes, food additives and some medicines. These triggers will
vary from student to student.
All students with asthma should exercise regularly and should be encouraged to participate in
physical education programs. Teachers need to be aware of those children who have asthma
and be watchful for symptoms during physical activity.
Ventolin can be given - two puffs before, during and after any physical activity, if needed.
Assessment of the severity of an asthma attack

o MILD ATTACK - This involves coughing, an audible wheeze, minor difficulty in
breathing and no difficulty speaking sentences. o MODERATE ATTACK - This involves a persistent cough, audible wheeze,
obvious difficulty in breathing and ability to speak in short sentences only. o SEVERE ATTACK - The child is often distressed and anxious, gasping for breath,

Treating an Asthma Attack

If a student is having an asthma attack, appropriate care must be given immediately.
STEP 1 -
Sit the student down and remain calm to reassure the student. Without delay give 4 puffs of a RELIEVER (Ventolin, Bricanyl, Respolin or Asmol). The inhalation is best given through a spacer, except for Bricanyl. The student should have their own medication. If not relievers are available
from the office. Ask the student to take 4 breaths from the spacer. Wait 4 minutes - if there is no improvement give another 4 puffs. If little or no improvement - call an ambulance immediately (Dial 000) and state that a student is having an asthma attack.

If a Spacer is not available then follow the above 4 steps using just the Reliever puffer.
Notes: A Spacer is a volumatic with adaptor.
Reliever medications are those medications taken to relieve symptoms of asthma such as
shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, wheezing and cough. They usually start to take
effect within a couple of minutes and last for up to 4 hours. Reliever medications usually
come in a blue or grey colored inhaler and include medications such as Ventolin, Bricanyl,
Respolin, Asmol and Respax.
Preventer medications do not have an immediate effect, but rather work over a period of
time. These medications need to be taken on a twice-daily basis, whether or not symptoms of
asthma are present, and are not usually taken by the student at school. Preventer medications
usually come in white or autumn colored inhalers and include Intal, Tilade, Becotide,
Becloforte, Pulmicort, Aldecin, Flixotide, Seretide and Symbicort. (Note. Symbicort100 or
200 can be taken as a preventer and a reliever.)
First Attack of Asthma

If a student suddenly collapses and appears to have difficulty breathing, an ambulance should
be called immediately . WHETHER OR NOT the student is known to have asthma. Give 4
puffs of a RELIEVER Ventolin, Bricanyl, Respolin or Asmol) whilst waiting for the
ambulance to arrive. No harm is likely to result from giving a Reliever to someone without
o Never leave the student alone
o Contact the parents
o If the attack is considered to be severe it is necessary to seek medical attention.
This is also required if the symptoms do not improve after 1 or 2 doses of treatment and if the
parents cannot be contacted.
If it is noted that there is a bluing of the lips, it is an indication that oxygen is urgently
needed. Call an ambulance alerting that the student is having an asthma attack.


A student with asthma may develop symptoms - coughing, wheezing, breathing, chest
tightness difficulties - during exercise that may stop them from joining in games and sports.
Asthma due to exercise can be prevented by encouraging the student to follow 6 simple steps.

1. Exercise regularly and know limits. 2. Take inhaled medication (Ventolin, Bricanyl, Respolin, Respax, Asmol, Tilade or Intal) 5 - 10 minutes prior to exercise, during and after physical activity if needed. 3. Do 10 - 15 minutes of warm up exercise prior to any sporting activity. 4. Breathe through nose, when possible, to warm and humidify the air going to the air 5. Cool down at the end of the session and wear appropriate clothing. 6. STOP if symptoms occur, and take reliever medication - Ventolin, Bricanyl, Respolin,
If a student regularly has exercise-induced asthma, it may be that the student’s asthma is not
well controlled and needs review by a doctor.
Students with asthma should be instructed to use medication before exercise.
Students, whose asthma is not under control, that is, those who have symptoms, should
be prohibited from undertaking strenuous exercise until their asthma is properly

Students who have a viral illness or who are recovering from a viral illness, particularly if the
respiratory tract has been involved, should have it explained to them that strenuous exercise
may prompt the development of asthma, and be prohibited from undertaking strenuous
exercise. However, they should fully participate in skills- related activities.
Chairperson School Board: Sean Drake…………………….……
Jason Mittiga ………………………….


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