Choosing Better Medical Equipment

How To Clean And Maintain Your Nebulizer

Nebulizers are often prescribed for respiratory disorders such as asthma and cystic fibrosis where it's hard to breathe, since the medication does not need to be inhaled deeply in order to be fully absorbed by the lungs. Since you'll be inhaling air directly from the nebulizer set, it's important to keep it sterile to prevent respiratory infections. You'll also want to clean it regularly to prevent excess medication from building up in the nebulizer kit, as this could result in taking more medication than prescribed when you use your nebulizer. It's a good idea to keep replacement parts on hand when you're using a nebulizer such as masks and tubing just in case they are lost or misplaced. Here's how to clean and maintain your nebulizer to keep it in good working condition so that it's always around when you need it.

Perform Cleaning Daily To Eliminate Saliva And Residual Medication

You need to clean the nebulizer cup that holds the medication every day with warm water and unscented soap. This prevents medication in the cup from drying onto the walls of the cup. It's very difficult to clean dried medication and may result in inhaling more medication than you are prescribed the next time you use your nebulizer. You'll also need to clean the nebulizer mask or tip with warm soapy water to rinse off any saliva that may be present, as you will want to avoid bacteria from your mouth growing on your nebulizer kit.

Note that the nebulizer tube that connects the cup to the compressor should not be cleaned. The only thing that passes through the thing plastic hose is clean air from the compressor, and it's designed in a way that prevents medication in the cup from entering into the tube. The tubing is so thin that it will never fully dry if you clean it with water, and the water in the tubing will provide a breeding ground for bacteria. If you get water in the nebulizer tubing, you should replace it with a spare.

Sterilize Your Nebulizer Weekly To Prevent Bacteria From Growing

It's important to keep any bacteria, viruses or mold from forming in your nebulizer since you will be inhaling air from the device. To do this, you will need to fully sterilize the nebulizer set. There are a number of ways to sterilize your nebulizer, such as boiling, microwaving, running it through the dishwasher or soaking it in an antibacterial solution. Read the manual for your nebulizer to determine which methods are appropriate, as some nebulizer kits contain metal parts that will create arcs of electricity if placed in the microwave. Nebulizer masks should always be sterilized by soaking in an antibacterial solution because the plastic is prone to melting. If you choose to soak your nebulizer kit in an antibacterial solution such as 3% hydrogen peroxide, you'll need to rinse out your nebulizer kit with sterile water after it has been soaking for the prescribed length of time. A quick way to sterilize water in your own home is to boil water on the stove for five minutes and then wait until it is warm to the touch before using it to rinse your nebulizer kit.

Replace Nebulizer Components According To Manufacturer Schedule

Masks, nebulizer tubing, and the nebulizer air filter will all need to be periodically replaced according to the recommended schedule set by the nebulizer manufacturer. You may need to replace the air filter more often if you are using the nebulizer in a dusty environment; if it looks dirty, it probably needs to be replaced. If you don't replace the air filter, the compressor motor will have difficulty sucking in enough outside air and may fail. Since the compressor is the most expensive part of a nebulizer, you'll want to protect against this by checking the air filter regularly and replacing it if necessary.

For more information, contact a business such as B and B Medical Technologies.