In order to deliver nebuliser therapy, the following equipment package is required:
This is the driving force which enables a nebuliser to convert the medicine to an aerosol. The compressor forces air through the drug solution into the nebuliser chamber where it is converted into fine mist, which is breathed in through a mask or a mouthpiece.
The nebuliser chamber is where the liquid medication is placed. There are different types of chambers depending on the type of medication prescribed. For example, some medications such as antibiotics require a special type of nebuliser chamber – in this case a specialist chamber and mask will be provided.
Tubing is used to get air from the compressor to the bottom of the nebuliser chamber.
Clinical need and patient preference will indicate whether the patient should use either a mouthpiece or a face mask, depending upon which is most suitable for the patient. The choice of using a mouthpiece or mask is up to the prescribing clinician.
A mouthpiece is most commonly used, as it prevents the medicine from getting into the eyes or causing irritation. The patient will then need to connect it to the nebuliser chamber, place between the teeth and seal using their lips while inhaling the medicine.
Alternatively, you may advise the patient to use a face mask, however some nebulised medications cannot be delivered through a mask (for example anticholinergics) as they must be kept away from the eyes.
Masks are usually recommended for patients with severe breathing problems or for children. A face mask is placed over the mouth and nose and kept in place by a head strap.