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Proper Use and Care of Nebulizer

Proper Use and Care of NebulizerA nebulizer is a small machine that turns liquid medicine into a mist. It is prescribed by doctors as a treatment to the people who are suffering from asthma or other respiratory diseases. It is sometimes considered as an easier method for children who aren’t good in using inhalers and adults with severe asthma. Using an inhaler itself is an effective way but a nebulizer can deliver medicine with lesser effort than an inhaler.

A nebulizer delivers same type of medication as a pocket sized inhaler (MDI), but works in a different way. During an asthma attack when the airways become narrow, it is impossible to take deep breaths. This makes nebulizer an easy and effective way to deliver medication, without taking deep breath.

They are readily available in large and small sizes. They both hold an air compressor, a container for liquid medicine, and a tube that connects the air compressor to the medicine container.

Given below are the supplies needed to use a nebulizer:

 Proper Use and Care of NebulizerProper Use and Care of NebulizerProper Use and Care of Nebulizer 

Follow the basic steps to set up and use Nebulizer:

  1. Wash your hands properly with soap under running water. Rinse your hands and dry them.
  2. Unscrew the nebulizer cup and carefully put the prescribed medication into the nebulizer. Secure the top tightly to prevent the medication from spilling out. Stay close to the electrical outlet if the apparatus is not battery operated.
  3. Attach the mouthpiece to the nebulizer cup.
  4. Attach one end of the tubing to the nebulizer cup and other end to an air compressor used for nebulizers.
  5. Turn on the compressor to ensure it is working correctly. Watch for light mist.
  6. Sit on a comfortable chair. If you are using a mask, position it comfortably on the face. If you are using a mouthpiece, place it between teeth and seal the lips around it.
  7. To let the medication settle into the airways, hold each breath for 2-3 seconds before breathing out.
  8. Breathe until all the medicine is used. It takes 10 – 15 minutes.
  9. Turn off the machine when done.
  10. Wash the medicine cup and mouthpiece with tap water and air dry.

How to Clean and Safely Store Nebulizer?

  1. Start with washing your own hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  2. Detach each part i.e., mouthpiece, tubing and the compressed air machine.
  3. Thoroughly rinse the mouthpiece under warm water for a minute or less.
  4. Shake the excess water off and let the water evaporate naturally. This may take some time depending on the weather.
  5. Put the entire nebulizer back together, when the pieces are dry.
  6. Twice in a week, disinfect the equipment, after washing it. Use disinfectant solution for better results.
  7. When compressor is not in use, cover it with a clean and dry cloth.
  8. Use clean and damp cloth material to wipe the machine. Keep it clean by wiping it with a clean, damp cloth as needed.
  9. Do not put the air compressor on the floor for any reason.
  10. Store medications in a cool, dry place. Read the labels properly for proper directions.
  11. Check medication on regular basis. Replace them with new one if you notice any change in color.
  12. Check the air compressor's filter as directed. Replace or clean them according to the directions from equipment’s supplier.