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17 September 2017
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Top Ten Common Mistakes

They've been made before, they'll be made again so here's a rough guide so you don't have to make any of the Top Ten common mistakes regarding nebulisers.

Mistakes

Not checking what resources Health Professionals can provide locally.

Despite what we read in the press most NHS trusts provide knowledgeable and efficient COPD, Chest and Respiratory clinics. It's always worth checking with them what support is available for you. Self Help groups such as Breathe Easy can also be a source of invaluable local knowledge.

Thinking a nebuliser will work without medication.

People are fearful and often panic buy or are influenced by their friends into thinking a nebuliser will be a good idea. Nebuliser medication is only available on prescription and without this medication a nebuliser is just fresh air!

Considering tap water for use in a nebuliser.

Nebulisers are powerful medical devices and should only be used under the direction of a medical professional. Nebulising anything not recommended by a medical professional can be detrimental to your health.

Tap

Assuming spending more money means better therapy.

Spending more on a nebuliser can give a slightly quicker therapy but this doesn't suit everybody. If you only nebulise occasionally what difference does a minute or two make? What if you keep a little cash back and invest in a portable nebuliser as well?

Conversely, hoping a budget machine will work like a hospital model.

For those of you that have to nebulise more regularly or use two or three ampules then spending a little extra is always cost and time effective in the long run. You wouldn't buy a Smart Car if you're heading off-road!

Mismatching nebuliser accessories and units.

In some circumstances this can work. However, manufacturers invest a great deal of time and expense developing their nebulisers and accessories to provide you with an efficient, effective therapy. It's not like a scarf where one size fits all!

Buying a travel nebuliser with a car lead and battery when you never really stray far from home.

Pocket nebulisers and travel nebulisers really can give you the freedom to get out and about. When choosing your nebuliser, be realistic. A Battery that is never used may not work 12 months after purchase.

Car

Thinking your nebuliser isn't working properly when you really should be ringing your G.P.

This is just one of the reasons why health professionals are reluctant to recommend home nebulisers. If after your therapy you feeling no benefit, call for medical advice. Nebulisers can fail but as you are no doubt aware, anyone with a chest condition is vulnerable to infection and your health can quickly deteriorate.

Boiling non-boil-able medication chambers.

You won't be the first. Boiling can extend the life of some medication chambers but it will completely destroy others! Good practice is to keep a spare. Always read the instructions or feel free to call us for advice.

Finally, letting the pan boil dry when boiling those that are!

We've all done it, whether it's a medication chamber or an egg. It's dangerous, expensive and messy so please do be careful!

Photo credits: Nik MacMillan, Luis Tosta, Scott Webb.