Basics to Keeping a Nebulizer
A nebulizer is a piece of medical equipment designed to aerosolize liquid medication and deliver it in a gaseous form. They are used to ease the symptoms of a varying amount of respiratory conditions, such as asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis. For your nebulizer to remain an effective form of treatment, there are a few things that Home Care Pharmacy believes you should know about how it works and the maintenance it requires.
Ensure Correct Use
Most nebulizers come with either a mouthpiece or mask that’s used to deliver the aerosolized medication. When you use your nebulizer, you’ll follow these general steps, though you should always consider the nebulizer’s unique set of instructions:
- Wash your hands before handling any part of the machine.
- Add the liquid medication to the compartment that houses the medicine, following the prescription written by your physician.
- Assemble the tubing to the mask and mouthpiece to complete the top half of the nebulizer.
- Connect the completed top half to the body of the nebulizer.
- If the nebulizer is powered by an AC power source, be sure it’s plugged into an outlet, and then turn it on.
- Sit or stand in an upright position and take slow, deep breaths through the mask and mouthpiece.
Typically, it’ll take about 10 minutes to completely ingest the dosage recommended by your physician.
Maintaining Your Nebulizer
When it comes to keeping your nebulizer clean and sterile, there are two ways to go about it. First, you can be sure to clean your nebulizer’s medicine cup, mouthpiece, mask, and top piece after every use. You can use this tried-and-true method when doing so:
- Remove the tubing that connects the different parts of the mask. Be sure that the tubing itself is never placed underwater.
- Disassemble the medicine cup and mouthpiece and mask from the top piece.
- Place the components on the top shelf of the dishwasher. Alternatively, you could gently wash these parts with warm water and soap.
- After washing, shake off the excess water and place the pieces in a cool, dry environment where they can finish drying off and be stored until the next use.
In addition to the after-use cleaning, it should be sanitized once a week to ensure that no bacteria or foreign pathogens are growing in the nebulizer. Follow these steps:
- The instruction manual that comes with your nebulizer will have a specific ratio of water to vinegar. Soak the mouthpiece, mask, medicine cup, and top piece in this solution for the length of time specified in the user manual.
- Rinse with water.
- Air-dry in a cool, dry place.
- Clean the compressor’s surface and the outside of the tubing. Ensure neither the tubing nor compressor is submerged at any point in time.
Additionally, the air filter in the nebulizer needs to be replaced every six months. To learn more about nebulizer maintenance or our selection of medical equipment, contact Home Care Pharmacy, which delivers supplies throughout California’s Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.