Only 7% of asthmatics in Cork know all the symptoms of an asthma attack, according to the Asthma Society of Ireland. 

There are 50,130 asthmatics living in County Cork. One person dies a week in Ireland as a result of their asthma, but 90% of these deaths are preventable.

To mark the recently held global World Asthma Day, the Society wants everyone to learn the symptoms of an asthma attack and the 5 Step Rule to save a life.


  1. Stay calm. Sit up straight – do not lie down.
  2. Take slow steady breaths.
  3. Take one puff of your reliever inhaler (usually blue) every minute. Use a spacer if available. People over 6 years can take up to 10 puffs in 10 minutes, children under 6 can take up to 6 puffs in 10 minutes.
  4. Call 112 or 999 if your symptoms do not improve after 10 minutes.
  5. Repeat step 3 if an ambulance has not arrived in 10 minutes.

Remember, if someone is having an asthma attack: Do not leave them on their own; Extra puffs of reliever inhaler (usually blue) are safe.

Symptoms of an asthma attack include wheezing, continuous coughing, chest tightness, shallow breathing, lips turning blue, difficulty finishing sentences.