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Pharmacology in First Aid Courses: Medications for the Airway

There are times where in administering medications is the only way to clear the airway of the afflicted individual especially if the airway blockage is caused by a specific medical condition. However, this does not mean that first aid rescuers have no part in the process. In occasions wherein the afflicted individual cannot take the medicine on his or her own or there are no healthcare professionals around, the task of administering these medications fall in the hands of first aid rescuers. This is why it is important for rescuers to take first aid courses that tackle the basics of administering different medications for the airway, including what they are and what they exactly do. Here are some of the medications that are administered for airway blockage.

Anti-allergy medications

Epinephrine Injector for Allergic Reactions

Epinephrine Injector for Allergic Reactions

There are a lot of medications that fall under the category of anti-allergy

medications. One of the most popular and commonly used anti-allergy medications is antihistamines since they are easier to find and are generally more affordable. Antihistamines are designed to prevent histamines from attaching to receptors which would prevent the symptoms that the histamines can produce. Considering that a common allergic reaction

among histamine-sensitive individuals is closing of airway passages, taking antihistamines and other anti-allergy medications can prevent and treat airway problems caused by allergies.


Bronchodilators are medications that can loosen the muscles that surround the bronchi by preventing and treating muscle tightening. Muscle tightening can happen during asthma attacks and other lung diseases such as emphysema which happen to be some of the most common diseases in the entire world. Bronchodilators can come in the form of tablets and nebules which are administered through nebulizers. This is why it is a must for rescuers to learn how to administer medications through nebulizers.

Anti-inflammatory medications

Inflammation is one of the most common causes of airway obstruction since the human body’s airway path surrounded by muscles that, when inflamed, can tighten the space where air travels in and out of the body. Anti-inflammatory medications such as Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAID) and cotricosteroids treat inflammation by serving as a muscle relaxant. Anti-inflammatory medications are normally included in first aid kits since they have many uses and only a few people are allergic to them which make them the ideal medications for pain and other medical emergencies. This is why it is important for rescuers to learn how to properly administer these medications and check for expiration dates during first aid courses.

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