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Urgent Care for an Asthma Attack: What to Expect

If you’re one of the millions of Americans living with asthma, knowing how to manage your symptoms and understanding potential triggers are essential parts of your treatment. In some cases, you may need medical intervention if your asthma symptoms become severe or don’t respond to medication.

At Midwest Regional Health Services, our urgent care and primary care specialists provide asthma treatment and management at our office in Omaha, Nebraska.

When should you go to urgent care for an asthma attack?

Here are some guidelines to help you decide if you need to go to urgent care for your asthma symptoms:

Severe symptoms

If you’re experiencing severe symptoms like extreme shortness of breath, rapid breathing, difficulty speaking or walking due to breathlessness, or bluish discoloration of the lips or fingernails, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention. 

If you’re worried about the severity of an asthma attack, it's always better to err on the side of caution and seek medical help. Trust your instincts if you feel that the symptoms are more severe than usual, or if you’re unsure about how to manage your symptoms.

Your medication isn’t working

If you’ve already used your quick-relief inhaler (usually a bronchodilator) as prescribed, but your symptoms persist or worsen after multiple doses, it may be a sign that your asthma isn’t well controlled. Seeking urgent care can help provide additional treatments and interventions to manage the attack.

If you’ve been using your medication as prescribed but your symptoms don’t improve within a reasonable amount of time, it may be necessary to seek medical care.

Asthma attacks can escalate quickly, so it's important not to delay seeking medical attention.

What to expect at urgent care during an asthma attack

Here’s an example of what you can generally expect when you visit urgent care for an asthma attack:


When you arrive, our urgent care team may ask you questions about your symptoms, take a detailed medical history, and ask you about any known triggers or recent exposure that could have contributed to the asthma attack.

Vital signs and monitoring

Your urgent care specialist at Midwest Regional Health Services may also measure and monitor your vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels.


Depending on the severity of the asthma attack, you may receive immediate treatment with a bronchodilator to help open your airway and make it easier for you to breathe. Corticosteroids are also sometimes used during an asthma attack to help reduce swelling and inflammation.

Oxygen therapy

If your oxygen levels are significantly low, you may receive supplemental oxygen.

Monitoring and observation

After treatment, you’ll likely be monitored to ensure your symptoms are improving. Our staff observes your breathing, oxygen levels, and overall response to treatment to ensure that your symptoms and asthma attack are under control before sending you home or recommending further treatment.


Our team also provides you with information on asthma management techniques such as proper inhaler use, trigger avoidance, and a personalized treatment plan to help manage your asthma. In addition, you may need follow-up care with a primary care physician or an asthma specialist for long-term management.

If you’re not sure whether to go to urgent care, give us a call. We offer walk-in visits, and you don’t have to worry about making an appointment for treatment during an asthma attack.

For more information about asthma management and treatment, and the urgent care services available at Midwest Regional Health Services, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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