8th February 2016 – Check out your inhaler technique at Airedale Hospital 15 – 19 February
Specialist respiratory nurses are having a week-long campaign at Airedale Hospital to make sure that patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD )are using their inhalers correctly.
Sophie Carrow and Colette Scully from the community health team at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, are having an information stand on the top landing above the main entrance to the hospital, 9.30am- 1200 noon, Monday 15 February to Thursday 18 February and 9.30am – 12 noon in the outpatients department on Friday 19 February.
Studies show that over half the patients who use an inhaler don’t have the correct technique. Sophie said: “This has huge implications for the control someone has of their respiratory condition, whether that be asthma or COPD.
“It’s not like other conditions where you can take a tablet or injection. The amount of drug you receive and the subsequent benefit depends on the correct technique for that particular inhaler. “
Airedale’s respiratory specialist nurses aim to see every patient admitted to hospital with a flare up of their COPD or asthma to observe their inhaler technique. Since the service began six months ago, they have seen over 130 COPD patients and given advice either on their technique or suggested alternative devices.
They will be using ‘Inhaler Week’ to highlight the importance of technique to the wider population but also to raise awareness with other healthcare professionals and patients that there are a lot of new devices available, particularly for people with lack of dexterity, memory issues or poor eyesight.
Inhalers broadly fall into two groups based on their composition – dry powder or aerosol.
Dry powder inhalers need a hard, deep breath which some people are unable to do and aerosol inhalers require a soft breath to guide the drug into the lungs.
The specialist nurses can measure the breath in to find out whether the patient is using the correct technique.
Colette added: “We are inviting anyone who wants to check whether they are using the right technique to come and see us at the hospital during that week. It may be that you feel you aren’t getting any benefit from your inhaler, don’t like your existing ones or aren’t taking them as prescribed. “
You can also get advice from the Airedale Wharfedale and Craven (AWC) respiratory team’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AWC-respiratory-network-723377324459412/or follow them on Twitter @awc_resp