A nebuliser is a device that facilitates intake of medication in asthmatic people including children. The medicine is usually in the form of an aerosol and has to be inhaled. Asthma is a respiratory disorder involving narrowing and constriction of the bronchioles. This causes difficulty in breathing as oxygen supply to the body is reduced. An aerosol is a mixture of air and a solution i.e. medication. It acts on the bronchioles, relieves constriction and improves oxygen flow.
Nebulisation for children
Children suffering from asthma are usually asked to use nebulisers. Initially children feel reluctant and scary to use a nebuliser, but parents need to take care and explain patiently how a nebuliser works. The usage and advantages of a nebuliser need to be emphasized so as to overcome any hesitancy on the child’s part.
Nebulisation can be used at home and many parents prefer using it at home as it is convenient both in terms of treatment and is cost effective. Children can be easily nebulised in the comfort of their homes. Running to a hospital at odd times can be ruled out. Older children can always learn to use it themselves. However, it is imperative for the parent to know and understand the basics of a nebuliser. A few important points to keep in mind are as follows –
• How to use a nebuliser – kindly ask the health care professional to demonstrate the use of the instrument. Try it with their guidance and then start using at home.
• How much of medicine – the dosage of the drug varies from patient to patient, so get the prescribed dosage from the doctor.
• How long should the child be nebulised – depending on the severity of the condition the duration of nebulisation differs? Hence it is essential to know the length of time of nebulisation.
• How many times can the child be nebulised – the frequency of nebulisation i.e. the no. of times in a day or week needs to be ascertained?
• When to use – sometimes a mild attack that subsides within a short time may not need nebulisation, whereas some children may not even withstand a mild attack. Therefore, ask the doctor the situations in which to use nebulisation.
• How to maintain the equipment – regular and thorough cleaning of the complete unit especially the tube and mask with an antiseptic solution are necessary to prevent infections.
• Each patient should have their own instrument. Even if there is more than one suffering from asthma in a single family, there should not be multiple patient usages as infections can easily be transmitted.
• Finally a nebuliser must be used only in severe wheezing or asthmatic attacks or as directed by the physician and not to treat cough.
Nebulisers effectively and directly deliver the drug in the required dosage into the air passage to provide instant relief.