How to breathe in Sydney: Ambulance releases a guide

Be careful amid the Sydney smog today
Be careful amid the Sydney smog today Contributed

THOSE living with asthma or breathing difficulties are being warned to take care in Sydney today, as smoke from back-burning blankets the city.

Paramedics are warning that the very young, elderly and those with breathing conditions will need to take care.

"Fine smoke particles can cause a variety of health problems, such as itchy or burning eyes, throat irritation, runny nose, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing," a statement read.

"They can also aggravate existing lung conditions, such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma."

NSW Ambulance has released a guide for those affected.


How to breathe in Sydney today:

  • stay indoors with windows and doors closed;
  • stay in air-conditioned premises if possible;
  • avoid vigorous exercise, especially if you have pre-existing respiratory or cardiac conditions; and
  • cover your nose and mouth with a mask designed to filter fine particles. 

For those with asthma, NSW Ambulance is encouraging sufferers to always carry their medication, and to call 000 if symptoms become severe.

  • Follow your asthma management plan closely if you have one; if you don't see your doctor;
  • Use your peak flow meter, if you have one, every four (4) hours and record the measurements.
    If your peak flow rate does not improve seek medical treatment as soon as possible; and
  • Use your puffer if your breathing problems return.
    Take One (1) puff then four (4) normal breaths, repeat once if required (max. 2 puffs).
    If your symptoms worsen or your condition deteriorates contact your doctor or call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

If someone else is suffering in the conditions:

  • move the patient from smoke affected area if possible;
  • position the person sitting upright;
  • loosen any clothing around the neck and chest;
  • if appropriate assist the patient to take their prescribed medication;
  • reassure the patient; and
  • If there is no improvement or the patient's condition is severe dial Triple Zero (000) and ask for ambulance. 

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