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    Learning About Your Health

    Asthma: Caring for Yourself at Home

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    Making Your Follow-up Appointment

    You will need to see your doctor 1-2 weeks after you go home from the hospital. Even if you are feeling well, it is important to keep this appointment. Bring all the medications you are taking to this appointment.

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    Recognizing Danger Signals

    Call your doctor before your next appointment if you develop any of the following symptoms:

    • Fever over 101 °F / 38.3 °C, or chills.

    • Your peak flow number starts going down.

    • You have to use your quick relief inhalers more often.

    • You become short of breath at rest or with less activity than usual.

    • Irritation and a white, patchy coating in your mouth.
    Call 911 or Go to the Emergency Department:

    If you become extremely short of breath and your quick relief medication does not help, or if your peak flow number is in or near the red zone.

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    Planning Your Activity

    You may continue your usual activity if it does not cause you to be short of breath.

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    About Your Diet

    There are no dietary restrictions unless food additives, such as sulfites, cause your asthma to act up. If this is the case, be sure to review food labels.

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    Tips on Asthma Prevention

    • Check your peak flow at least once a day. A drop in the peak flow is often the first sign of another flare-up and may happen before other symptoms such as wheezing or feeling short of breath.


    • Check the environment where you live and work for common triggers such as animals, sprays, smoke, dust, cleaning fluids with strong smells, and mold.


    • Remember to get a flu vaccine each fall and a Pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine once every 5-10 years.


    • Learn more about asthma and how to control the symptoms.

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    More Ways to Learn

    • Stop Smoking. If you smoke, now is the time to stop. If you want suggestions on how to quit while you are in the hospital, speak with your doctor or nurse. We can provide counseling and contact information for smoking cessation groups. You can also call 1-800-NO-BUTTS for more information.


    • Visit Our Community Health Resource Center at 2100 Webster Street, San Francisco (415) 923-3155. Services include classes and written information on a wide variety of health topics.


    • Visit these Web sites:



    Produced by the Center for Patient and Community Education in association with the staff and physicians at California Pacific Medical Center. Date: 6/02


    Funded by: A generous donation from the Mr. and Mrs. Arthur A. Ciocca Foundation.

    Note: This information is not meant to replace any information or personal medical advice which you get directly from your doctor(s). If you have any questions about this information, such as the risks or benefits of the treatment listed, please ask your doctor(s)

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