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Old 02-14-2010, 03:51 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Asthma Action Plan Guideline

Everyone who has asthma should work with their physician to have a written Asthma Action Plan. If you have been diagnosed with asthma and your doctor doesn't offer you one, you should be asking for one.

An Asthma Action Plan is a guideline for you that indicates what types of treatment you should initiate depending on what types of symptoms you are having.

Typical Asthma Action Plans include:

*Your doctor’s name and phone number and a local emergency phone number

*Lists of your long-term controler medications, dosages and how often you should use them.

*Lists of your quick relief medications, dosages and how often you should use them.

It should also provide you with information on monitoring your symptoms and provide instructions on how you should respond based upon your symptoms. They typically look something like this:

GREEN ZONE:
  • You feel good (no wheezing, cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath, etc...).
  • Use long-term controller medications as prescribed (if you have them).
  • Often directions to use your quick-relief medications prior to exercising.
  • A list of things to avoid.
  • Peak Flow numbers you should watch for.


YELLOW ZONE:
  • Your asthma is getting worse. You do not feel good.
  • You may have chest tightness, coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, or other asthma early warning signs (there is a sticky at the top of the message board with a list of these items).
  • You may have difficulty doing some activities.
  • If prescribed, you may increase the dosage of your controller medication.
  • You will have increased use of your quick-relief inhaler.
  • You may add use of a home nebulizer.
  • If you don't find relief from your quick-relief medication, you should probably seek medical attention.
  • Your Peak Flow reading is probably 50-80% of your personal best.


RED ZONE:
  • Your asthma has gotten worse. You feel awful.
  • Your rescue inhaler is not working for you.
  • You should seek treatment from your doctor or call for emergency help depending on the severity of your symptoms.
  • You may find that it is getting harder and harder to breathe.
  • Many people in this zone often end up with steroid treatment to help get it back in control.
  • Your Peak Flow is typically below 50% of your personal best.
RED ZONE Danger Signs
  • You cannot talk without taking breaths between words.
  • Your lips or fingernails are turning blue.
  • You are struggling to get a breath.
  • You may start to panic.
  • You should call for emergency help. If you are this bad, you should not try to take yourself to emergency. You may have an Epi-pen to use until help arrives.
  • This zone is serious, know your plan of action of what to do and educate those around you so they can help. You won't really be in a position to help yourself much in this zone.


There is a lot of information on Asthma Action Plans on the internet. Here are a couple of the websites which provide useful information on them:

An Asthma Action Plan form recommended on the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute government website:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/lung/asthma/asthma_actplan.pdf
Hope you find this helpful!

Last edited by Administrator; 12-14-2012 at 09:10 AM.

 
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:50 PM   #2
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re: Asthma Action Plan Guideline

I'm on quite a bit of medication as well. Here is my Asthma Action Plan:

I've been on Advair 250/50, Singulair and Albuterol/ Albuterol Nebulizer (as needed).

When I'm in the "Green Zone", I take the Advair 250/50 twice per day and Singulair once per day. I use my Albuterol if I know I'm going to do something that might trigger my asthma.

When I'm in the "Yellow Zone", I change to Advair 500/50 twice per day and continue the Singulair. I also use my Albuterol about 4 times per day. This includes use of my home nebulizer.

When I'm way into the "Yellow Zone" or in the "Red Zone", I still take the Advair 500/50 twice per day, use the Sinulair, use my Albuterol about every 4 hours. I also fill my standing prescription for a heavy duty Prednisone taper. If it gets worse or isn't working, I'll go back to the doctor or seek emergency care. I carry an Epi-pen everywhere with me. If I have a bad asthma attack, using it will help open up my airway quickly and give me time to get emergency care. (I had ephinephrine used during a serious asthma attack 2 years ago and it did wonders.)

I have prescriptions for Advair 250/50 & Advair 500/50 (hoping to try the 100/50 this spring), Singulair, Albuterol in HFA and Albuterol for my Nebulizer, Prednisone and Levaquin from my Pulmonologist. I also take Kapidex because I have reflux that triggers my asthma as well. At this point, he is comfortable with the fact that I know my asthma and am capable of following my Asthma Action Plan. I'm able to treat myself without waiting for a doctor's appointment.

I will say that I had a lot of trouble getting a bad flare under control this winter. I was at the doctor's office about once a week for a couple months. It's frustrating, really really wears you out and hits the pocketbook as well.

Last edited by MountainReader; 02-18-2010 at 05:53 PM.

 
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