Salbutamol with metered dose inhalers with spacers – an established emergency treatment for preschool wheeze


Matti Korppi, Paediatric Research Centre, Tampere University and University Hospital, 33014 Tampere University, Tampere, Finland.
Tel: +358-3-35518407 |
Fax: +358-3-35518420 |


Aims:  Metered dose inhalers (MDI) with spacers were implemented to treat preschool wheeze in the emergency room (ER) and hospital in 2006 in our children’s hospital. The implementation at day time happened successfully within 4 months, but not at night time. The objective of the present study was to check the treatment mode, hospitalization rate and length of hospital stay (LOS) 4 years later.

Methods:  The present retrospective hospital chart review was identical to the review 4 years earlier, including data collection on treatment mode in 1- to-5-year-old preschool wheezers in the ER, on need of hospitalization, on treatment mode in hospital and on LOS. Both studies were performed during the same late-autumn and early-winter months.

Results:  In the ER, 96% of the children with preschool wheeze were treated with salbutamol using MDIs with spacers. Hospitalization rate was 51%, and all but one were treated with MDIs with spacers in hospital at both day and night time. Mean LOS was 2.48 days, being shorter than 4 years earlier.

Conclusion:  Administration of salbutamol using MDI with spacer became an established emergency treatment of preschool wheeze within 4 years after the initial change from nebulizers to MDIs with spacers.