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Respir Care. 2009 Jul;54(7):855-60.

Metered-dose inhaler with spacer instead of nebulizer during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Singapore.

Author information

  • 1Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, National University Hospital, Singapore. khoosm@nuh.com.sg

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The use of metered-dose inhaler (MDI) with spacer instead of nebulizer may be important during an outbreak of an airborne infection. However, there is a paucity of data on patients' and nurses' abilities and perspectives on MDI with spacer for the treatment of acute airway obstruction during such an outbreak.

METHODS:

We evaluated 50 consecutive MDI-with-spacer treatments administered in the respiratory wards of the National University Hospital of Singapore, and interviewed the patients after each treatment during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). We also conducted interviews with 50 nurses who had experience in administering bronchodilators via both nebulizer and MDI with spacer.

RESULTS:

Forty-six patients (92%) were able to use MDI with spacer effectively. Sixteen percent of the patients preferred nebulizer over MDI with spacer. Fifty-eight percent of the patients thought MDI with spacer was easier to use than nebulizer, and 34% thought MDI was as easy to use as nebulizer. Sixteen percent of the patients thought that nebulizer was more effective than MDI with spacer in relieving their symptoms. Ninety-six percent of the nurses preferred nebulizer over MDI with spacer. Forty-two nurses (84%) thought that nebulizer was more effective for treating acute airflow obstruction in the hospital.

CONCLUSIONS:

In the in-patient setting during an outbreak of an airborne infection, for treatment of acute airflow obstruction, MDI with spacer was acceptable and preferred by a high percentage of patients. However, a high percentage of nurses had misconceptions regarding the efficacy of and patients' ability to use MDI with spacer.

Comment in

PMID:
19558736
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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