Have a Plan
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommends anyone with a diagnosis of asthma (especially those with a severe diagnosis) have a written asthma action plan with clear instruction to assist and give direction to in the case of an asthma attack. A written asthma action plan does 3 things:
- It helps you take the proper medications
- Identifies asthma triggers
- Helps manage asthma in the case of an attack
The most common asthma action plan uses a severity approach similarly designed with "Green" "Yellow" and "Red" zones, like a traffic light.
It is important to have a plan for many reasons. A plan is filled out by your doctor so they can explain all your medications and how and when to take them. It is important that schools have plans on file so the school nurse will know what medication to give a student and when to seek medical help.
With a written plan the patient knows exactly what each symptom means and when and how to take all medication. A written plan also helps family and friends in case a person having an attack cannot communicate their needs.
In Maine there are 4 plans each for a specific purpose:
- School Asthma Action Plan (PDF)
- Preschool Asthma Action Plan (PDF)
- Asthma Plan with Peak Flow Plan (PDF)
- Combined School and Peak Flow Plan (PDF)
sample informational card