LIFESTYLE

Stuart Baggs Dead Following Asthma Attack: Doctor Explains Symptoms And How To Manage The Condition

06/08/2015 15:31 BST | Updated 06/08/2015 15:59 BST

Former Apprentice star, Stuart Baggs, has died suddenly from an asthma attack.

The 27-year-old was found at his home on the Isle of Man by police on 30 July.

Inspector Iain MacMillan said: "Mr Baggs had suffered from asthma for many years and died as a result of his condition."

Baggs, whose one-liners included "everything I touch turns to sold" was the youngest ever candidate to appear on The Apprentice back in 2010.

stuart baggs dead

Stuart Baggs has died

While many people have heard of asthma, unless you suffer from the long-term condition, you might not be fully aware of what it is and how it can affect someone.

More than 5.4 million people in the UK suffer from asthma. For some people, it can be managed easily without disrupting day-to-day life, while in others it can cause persistent problems.

According to Asthma UK, people with severe asthma can be affected to the point where they struggle to climb the stairs without feeling seriously out of breath.

Dr Lieske Kuitert, a consultant respiratory physician at The Lister Hospital in London tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle that asthma is a disease of the airways in the lungs, where they constrict and narrow in response to certain triggers.

Depending on the person, a trigger for an asthma attack could be house dust mites, grass and tree pollens, animal hair, and sometimes food.

Exercise induced asthma is common, and is usually noticed more by young people who are into sports and fitness - although, Dr Kuitert notes, when the asthma is well controlled it will not necessarily impede the ability to exercise.

Symptoms of asthma include breathlessness, wheezing, coughing and chest tightness.

"It can occur at any age, but most often presents in children and young people," says Dr Kuitert. "People who suffer from hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or who have or have had eczema are more prone to developing asthma."

An asthma attack occurs when symptoms worsen.

"If an asthmatic is having an asthma attack their breathing will be more difficult, they will be wheezy and tight chested," says Dr Kuitert.

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At this point, patients should take their reliever inhaler - usually a blue inhaler containing salbutamol (albuterol) or terbutaline - which works by relieving the contraction of the muscle that causes the airway to become narrow.

"This works within minutes but may need to be taken a number of times," says Dr Kuitert. "In more serious attacks a steroid such as prednisolone (or prednisone) may need to be taken as well as the reliever inhaler."

Kuitert adds: "The worst asthma attacks, for example, where breathing is so restricted that the asthmatic can only speak in short phrases or single words, usually require treatment in the hospital emergency department, and very occasionally admission."

If this happens, Dr Kuitert says that it's important to help the asthmatic stay calm as panic or anxiety can exacerbate the symptoms.

"In serious attacks they may need to call an ambulance for help."

What To Do If Someone Is Having An Asthma Attack