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Almost half of young asthma patients misuse inhalers

Almost half of young 
asthma patients 
misuse inhalers

Many children with asthma don't use their inhalers properly and don't get a full dose of medicine, researchers report. They evaluated inhaler use among 113 children between the ages of 2 and 16 who were hospitalized for asthma. Such patients are at highest risk for complications and death from asthma.

At least one crucial step in inhaler technique was missed by 42 per cent of the children. About 18 per cent did not use a spacer device with their inhaler. A spacer is a device that's recommended for use with an inhaler to help the right amount of asthma medication reach the lungs.

Teens were the most likely to make mistakes in inhaler technique and to skip use of a spacer, according to the study published April 17 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

"We know that asthma can be well-managed in the majority of patients and using your inhaler correctly is key factor to managing asthma," said lead author Dr. Waheeda Samady, a hospitalist at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

"Improper inhaler technique can contribute to children having uncontrolled asthma and needing to come to the hospital for their asthma," Samady said in a hospital news release.

"Our study suggests that as health care providers we can do a better job showing patients and families the correct inhaler and spacer technique, and checking it frequently to ensure they master it," she added.

"We see that our adolescent patients, who are transitioning to independent medication management, still need close monitoring to make sure they use their inhaler and spacer appropriately to achieve optimal asthma control," Samady said.

She pointed out that teens may feel that using a spacer is only for younger children, but "using a spacer is recommended for adults as well," Samady explained.

Previous research shows that adding a spacer to an inhaler boosts the amount of asthma medication a person takes in from 34 per cent to 83 per cent.

"Children with asthma can lead full lives if they receive the right medication at the appropriate dose, which is why correct inhaler technique is so crucial," Samady concluded.

Patients older than 60 and those with more severe airway obstruction were more likely than younger, healthier patients to misuse their dry powder inhaler.

Training the patients in the proper use of their dry powder inhalers reduced the patients' errors.

A pressurized meter-dose inhaler "might be a valuable treatment alternative" for patients who can't master the dry powder inhaler, write Siegfried Wieshammer, MD, and colleagues.

They reported their findings today in Chicago at CHEST 2007, the annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians.

 HealthDay

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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