How to use an inhaler and spacer for asthma

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Hello my name is Paul, I’m a respiratory specialist here at the hospital. Today we’re going to show you how to use inhalers. First we’ll see Eildh who’s been using an inhaler for about four years and then we’ll see Matthew who’s never used an inhaler before. Hi Eilidh, hi mum. So you have been using inhalers for a while now to help with your asthma. Asthma can cause some breathing problems. How do inhalers work? So inhalers are just small devices that help get the medicine right into your lungs. There’s lots of different types of inhalers and I’ll show you some here. This is probably like the one you use and this is called a metered dose inhaler. That’s a big long word, so we just like to call it an MDI. And this inhaler turns the medicine into a spray, so it can go right into your lungs. So Eildih you use an inhaler with a spacer and a mask like this one, don’t you? Why do I have to use a spacer and a mask? So a spacer is just a holding chamber for the medicine. That means that you can breathe the medicine in slowly and when you’re ready to breathe it in. We have different spacers, some have a mask and some have a mouthpiece like this. But in younger children and babies we use the one with the mask, because some younger children and babies will find it difficult to keep a tight seal with the lips. Ok. How have you found using the inhaler with Eilidh? She was quite young when she started and it was a bit tricky to begin with. She was a bit scared of the mask. But after a few goes she got used
to it and she realised it helped her. We did some songs and things to make a bit more fun and she’s been good since. So Eildih and mum do you want to show
me how you use your inhaler? Yeah, thank you. So your mum is doing really well, she’s shaking the inhaler. She’s got a nice seal against your face with the mask. 1…., 2…. and you are breathing nice and slowly at a good speed. That’s perfect. And she’s counting to ten to make sure all the medicine gets into your lungs. and 10. Then we take it out and we wait 30 seconds before we do the next puff. Why? So we need to shake it, make sure that the first dose went down properly And then we are ready to go. Okay. Do all children with asthma have the same inhalers? Well, lots of children will have the same type of inhaler, but they’ll often have different medicines in them, these will usually be different colours. Your doctor will let you know when to use which inhaler. Thanks very much for showing us your inhaler technique today Eilidh. You’re doing very well. Thank you. So thanks for coming in today to learn about inhaler techniques. Is this the first time you’ve used an inhaler Matthew? Yeah. Does it hurt when you use an inhaler? No, not at all. It can be a little bit tricky to start with, but with practice you’ll get very good at it. Today we’re going to show you two different types of inhalers. The first one we’ll look at is a metered
dose inhaler which we call an MDI. So to begin with what you want to do with the inhaler, is take the cap off. You then need to give the inhaler a good shake before each dose that you take. You’ll want to have your index finger on the canister and your thumb underneath. Once you breathe out you’re then going to pop the mouthpiece in between your lips. Keep your lips nice and tight and you’re going to start breathing in slowly. And when you start breathing in, you’re going to press the canister and you’re going to take a slow deep breath in. You’re then going to hold your breath for about five or ten seconds and breathe out nice and gently. So I’ll give it over to you. So if you give the inhaler a good shake, you feel the medicine moving about, very good. So you’re going to breathe out gently. Pop the mouthpiece in your mouth, tight seal with your lips. As you breathe in, press the button. Sit right up. Then hold it steady, take the inhaler out, and breathe out. Okay, well done Matthew. What we’re going to do now is try out the dry powder inhaler to see if this is easier to use for you. The medicine comes out of this in a powder form, so you have to breathe in quickly and deeply when you’re using this inhaler. Okay Matthew, so if you take the lid off. Excellent. Now you want to get the medicine ready in the inhaler, so if you twist the red bit one way and then twist it the other and that’s it, when you hear that click the medicine is ready. So if you sit nice and upright, breathe out gently first. Then pop the inhaler in your mouth, deep breath in. Sit right up, very good. Hold your breath, nice and steady. then take the inhaler out and breathe out gently. Very good, well done Matthew. What kind of problems do children
sometimes have with their inhalers? So often children can forget to take their inhalers. So it can be useful to incorporate it into part of the daily routine, so maybe when they go to bed at night and when they get up in the morning. Parents will often use reward charts with stickers to help encourage their children to use their inhalers. So Matthew, thank you very much for coming in to show us how to use inhalers today. Just remember if you have any questions about your inhalers, you can always ask your doctor, nurse or
pharmacist and they will be able to help you. Thank you.

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