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January 28, 2013

What are Nebulisers and How to Use Them?

Posted in: Health

Should you be using a nebuliser to treat your respiratory illness? Let’s find out. A nebuliser is equipment that transforms liquid into globules of aerosol that can be inhaled. This device uses oxygen, air that is compressed and even ultrasonic power. This ruptures the solution and discharges droplets of aerosol straight to the lungs. However, the use of this device has seen a decline in recent years. Despite this fact, they are favoured by some patients and can be greatly useful in certain conditions.

You can find a broad variety of this device in the market. Jet nebulisers are managed by compressed air while the ultrasonic ones by vibrating crystals. The first one consumes huge amount of the drug while expiration. The other variety is being widely used.

The rate of flow of gas has to touch a minimum of 6 litres per minute in order to deliver tiny adequate particles in about 5-10 minutes. The ultrasonic variety is relatively smaller and does not produce much noise.

The device is not so efficient with many producing only about 10% of the dosage that is suggested. A huge amount of the drug remains glued to the internal parts of the equipment or is misused while exhalation. The productiveness of the delivery of the medication is based on the kind and quantity of nebuliser chamber and the rate of flow. There are chambers with a container and various systems of valve that enhances the productiveness of the delivery of the drug.

The use of nebulisers for Respiratory illness:

Undoubtedly, nebulisers can help in curing most of your respiratory problems. Those problems can be anything, COPD, cystic fibrosis and many other clinical conditions.

However, the device is no more used for treating serious asthmatic patients as laid down by the British Guideline. Despite this fact, it is increasingly used for treating severe asthma attacks. The Guideline states that there is not enough evidence to recommend the use of the equipment in case of acute asthma. In case the device is used in emergency conditions, there is a risk of desaturation of oxygen. Hence the device should be driven by oxygen with a heavy flow regulator connected to the cylinder. This will ensure the much needed rate of flow which stands at 6L per minute.

Can COPD be cured by a Nebuliser?

Patients suffering from COPD have bronchoconstriction that is not reversible. But most of them show reversibility with increased dosage of bronchodilator.

The emanating liquefied vapour from the device changes the viscosity of the mucus and aids expectoration. Hence nebulisers driven by air are used most of the times while treating serious conditions of exacerbations and COPD.

While using the device in the treatment of COPD the following points should be taken into account:

1. Hand-held nebulisers are superior
2. Treat patients with the device with upsetting breathlessness in spite of treatment with inhalers.
3. Find out if the patient is able to use the device before prescribing one.
4. The patient is to use a mouthpiece or a face mask whenever it’s possible.
5. Individuals having problems with hand-held inhalers may also experience problems using the device.

How to Maintain a Nebuliser?

The device has to be cleaned on a regular basis. The face mask and mouthpiece has to be washed thoroughly in warm water. Leave the different parts to dry overnight. Before you use the device, you should run it for some time and then add the drug.

All in all, this device has generally proven to be useful for most of the patients who are suffering from minor respiratory issues. Consult with your physician and see what he says.


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