How to use a Nebulizer

December 18, 2008

Nebulizer. What is it? What do you do with it?

What is a nebulizer? A nebulizer changes liquid into fine droplets (in aerosol or mist form) that are inhaled through a mouthpiece or mask.

A nebulizer may be used instead of a metered dose inhaler (MDI). It is powered by a compressed air machine and plugs into an electrical outlet. Portable nebulizers, powered by an internal battery or cigarette lighter, are available for individuals requiring treatments away from home.

Procedure
1. Place the air compressor on a sturdy surface that will support its weight. Plug the cord from the compressor into an electrical outlet.

2. Wash your hands with soap and warm water.

3. Measure the medication according to instructions and place into the medicine cup.

4. Turn on the compressor with the on/off switch. Once you turn on the compressor, you should see a light mist coming from the back.

5. If you are using a mask, position it comfortably and securely on your face. If you are using a mouth piece, place it between your teeth and seal your lips around it as shown to the left.

6. Take slow, deep breaths through your mouth. If possible, hold each breath for two to three seconds before breathing out. This allows the medication to settle into the airways.

7. Continue until the medication is gone (about 10 to 15 minutes).

8. If you become dizzy or feel “jittery,” stop the treatment and rest for about five minutes. Then continue the treatment, but try to breathe more slowly. If these symptoms continue with future treatments, inform your health care provider.

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