asthma action plan is a written plan of what to do if
you have an
asthma attack. You are in the red zone of your asthma
action plan if you have severe asthma symptoms. Symptoms include:
Peak expiratory flow less than 50% of
your personal best measurement. To find 50% of your personal best, multiply
your personal best measurement by 0.50. For example, if your personal best flow
is 400, then 50% of that is 400 times 0.50, which is 200. In this example, a peak expiratory flow less than 200 means you are in the red zone.
shortness of breath while walking, talking, or at rest.
Use of the
chest muscles to breathe. The skin between, above, and under the ribs collapses
inward with each breath (retractions).
Wheezing. But if symptoms
are very severe, you may not hear any wheezing. Wheezing will stop when the
amount of air moving through the bronchial tubes becomes dangerously low. In
this case, no wheezing is actually worse than hearing wheezing.
Treatment for asthma attacks in the red zone includes:
Seeking immediate medical attention while you are
following your asthma action plan.
Using medicine based on your
asthma action plan.
Talking with a doctor immediately
about what to do next. This is especially important if your peak expiratory
flow does not return to the
green zone or stays within the
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.