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Assessment of use of spacer devices for inhaled drug delivery to asthmatic children

Authors


Dr Cecil Vella, Paediatric Department, St Luke's Hospital, Guardamangia, Malta
Tel.: +356 21241251
Fax: +356 21240176
E-mail: cecil.vella@gov.mt

Abstract

In the treatment of bronchial asthma, inhaled therapy with both bronchodilators and corticosteroids represents the basis for acute and long-term management. Drug therapy in asthma is predominantly by pressurized metered dose inhalers. The impact of treatment on the disease morbidity and mortality depends to a large extent on appropriate delivery of drug to the lungs by means of a spacer device. We performed an audit on spacer use in 200 children and showed that 99% owned a spacer, 2% owned but did not use their spacer, 11% were using a spacer which was not ideal for their age, 17% had a poor technique, and 24% were not following the recommendations given on previous visits to wash the spacer only with a soapy solution. Although physicians frequently associate poor control of asthma with inadequate doses of drugs, many factors must be considered before increasing the dose of inhaled medications to children. We should all ensure that the drugs we prescribe are delivered in the best possible manner, thus improving control of asthma, reducing side effects and offering a more cost-effective therapy.

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