You or another person is experiencing an asthma attack for the first time. Asthma can quickly become serious if not treated promptly and properly.
Your rescue inhaler (usually albuterol) does not work to relieve symptoms within 20 minutes.
You or the person with asthma cannot talk in complete sentences. Other things to look for: flaring nostrils; the skin between the ribs is sucked in with each breath; the lips or the skin under the nails appear grayish or bluish. These are all signs of extreme oxygen deprivation. Get immediate emergency treatment.