Asthmatic patients know all too well the importance of using a metered-dose inhaler in the right way during emergencies. Also referred to as an MDI (the short form) this is an inhaler that is pressurized and which avails the medication to the patient by way of a propellant spray.
What are some of the components of an MDI?
– The plastic holder which basically houses the components of the MDI
– The canister which connects the various components to one another.
– A metering valve which is used to measure the dosage that the user gets
– The propellant which contains the drug and which is released into the patient’s mouth,’
– The mouthpiece.
Steps to the correct use of a metered-dose inhaler during first aid emergencies
i) Make sure that you shake the inhaler well prior to use. Three or four times is good enough.
ii) Remove the cap that covers the inhaler.
iii) Take a deep breath and exhale (not into the inhaler!)
iv) Place the inhaler over your mouth, making sure to close your mouth round about the inhaler so that it creates a tight seal of sorts.
v) Begin to inhale deeply and slowly. Press the top part of the inhaler to release the medication in aerosol form, and continue inhaling to the point where you have taken a full breath,
vi) Eliminate the inhaler from your mouth and hold your breath for about 5 seconds before exhaling.
vii) In case there is need for a second breath, wait for about a minute before repeating the process again.
viii) Once you have used the metered-dose inhaler, take note of the number of dosages that you have taken.
ix) Rinse your mouth before gently cleaning the inhaler and storing it in its rightful place.
How do you go about cleaning your metered-dose inhaler?
i) Pull out the metal canister first before proceeding to clean the plastic part of the inhaler using warm soapy water. Do NOT clean the metal canister using water as this will cause it to get damaged.
ii) Allow the plastic parts to air dry, preferably by leaving them overnight.
iii) Gather the metered-dose inhaler the following day so that you re-assemble the
iv) Carry out a test of the MDI by releasing a puff into the air.
NB: it is extremely important that you go through the instructions supplied alongside with your inhaler to make sure that you get everything right. Caring for your inhaler is as good as getting your health in check because the latter is dependent on the state of the medical gadgets that you use. Getting the same from a registered physician is fundamental if the quality of medication is to be maintained. Continuous and regular checkups also make sure that you are in the right frame of health.