Medication administration through inhalation has become the most crucial technique for the treatment of patients diagnosed with airways diseases. Inhalation medications are delivered to patients through an aerosol spray, mist, or powder that they inhale into their airways (Pirie & McGorum, 2017). Although inhaled drugs have a respiratory effect, they are likely to have systemic effects as well. Most patients who use inhalers have asthma or chronic respiratory disease (Pirie & McGorum, 2017). One of the main devices commonly used when administering inhaled medication is Metered Dose Inhaler.
Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)
A metered dosage inhaler (MDI) is a handheld device that uses a propellant to spread medication into the airways like an aerosol spray. Each press of a canister delivers a precise quantity of the medicine, and dosing is usually accomplished in one or two puffs (Anderson et al., 2018). Because the medication is retained in the device until the patient inhales, attaching the MDI to a spacer or valve chamber optimizes medication administration (Anderson et al., 2018). Using the MDI appropriately would mean that the medication has a chance to reach the small airways, which increases the effectiveness of the medication.
Using MDI with a Spacer and Mask
This technique is normally used to administer inhaled medication to children who are unable to effectively manage their breathing, and the procedure is as follows:
- Take away the cap and shake to ensure that the ingredients mix well.
- Connect the inhaler to the spacer.
- Gently set the mask above the nose and mouth of the patient.
- Press the inhaler to release the medicine.
- Instruct the patient to breathe in and out for about 5 to 10 minutes and wait for about 35 seconds between puffs.
- When done with the process, rinse the child’s mouth and close the inhaler (Anderson et al., 2018).
Using MDI with a Spacer but without a Mask
This technique is preferred for teens and adults because they can effectively coordinate their breathing and involve the following:
- Take off the cap of the inhaler and shake well.
- Join the inhaler to the spacer.
- Breathe out throughout.
- Insert the mouthpiece of the spacer on the mouth and press the inhaler.
- Slowly breathe in for about 5 seconds, hold the breath for about 15 seconds, and breathe out.
- Repeat as stated by a physician and wait 30 seconds between puffs.
- When done, rinse the mouth and replace the cap on the inhaler (Anderson et al., 2018).
Safety Consideration when Using an MDI
- Before you start preparing your medication, make sure your hands are clean. Then, check MAR to see which drugs you need to prepare. To guarantee that MARs are correct and properly checked, follow agency policy.
- When dispensing the medication, perform the following rights three times. First, check the name and date of birth to confirm if the patient can use the drug. Second, make sure to check that the dose is appropriate for the age and condition of the patient. Finally, determine whether the route is appropriate for the patients.
- Remove the mouthpiece cover and make sure the canister is securely fitted into the holder. This ensures that the drug is delivered correctly to the airways.
- Position the patient sitting up in a chair or lying down in bed at a 45-degree angle. This position helps to expand the lungs and distribute drugs more evenly.
- Before delivering, shake the canister effectively. This ensures that the drug is delivered correctly (Anderson et al., 2018).
Anderson, R., Doyle, G. R., & McCutcheon, J. A. (2018). Clinical procedures for safer patient care. Thompson Rivers University.
Pirie, R. S., & McGorum, B. C. (2017). Inhalation therapy for equine lower respiratory tract disease. In Practice, 39(7), 317-327. doi.org/10.1136/inp.j2879