An asthma action or asthma attack plan from the doctor gives instructions for an individual patient, according to WebMD. It includes a list of the person's triggers, peak flow meter readings, the patient's usual symptoms, name and dosage of the daily medication, name and dosage of emergency medications, emergency telephone numbers, and instructions about contacting the doctor.
Instructions need to be specific to the three zones on the peak flow meter, which is an inexpensive, handheld device to measure breathing. The red zone on the flow meter indicates danger. The yellow zone means caution, and green means that breathing is happening within acceptable parameters, according to WebMD.
In the case of an unexpected asthma attack, Asthma UK suggests a generic action plan that includes several steps. The asthma patient is to use an inhaler, sit down, and breathe slowly and calmly. He is to try the inhaler again if relief does not come within 10 puffs of the inhaler, two minutes apart. He is to call 911 or an ambulance.
While asthma triggers differ for each individual patient, there are some common irritants that initiate attacks. Potential triggers include environmental pollutants, animals, viral infections, exercise, excessive emotions, some foods, hormones, household dust mites, certain medications, pollen, molds and fungi, sex, smog, smoke, and sudden changes in weather, according to Asthma UK.