Inhaled Medication

Inhaled Medication

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Inhaled medication is most commonly
given through the mouth using an inhaler. An inhaler with a spacer or a nebulizer
but also includes nasal sprays and nose drops. There are many different types of
inhalers including metered dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers.
Most often, inhalers are used by older children who can tell you how they work,
but always be sure to review the package insert and medication information so you
know the right way for the child to use it. Here are some additional principles
to follow when using inhalers. Some inhalers come with a cap so remove it
and then check the mouthpiece for foreign objects before using. Have the
child breathe according to the package instructions. If the child gets two or
more puffs, make sure you know how long to wait before giving another puff. Some
children will want to take the medication quickly and won’t use the
right breathing techniques, so always watch the child while he takes the
medication and have them wait the instructed amount of time before taking
another puff. Most metered dose inhalers are only good for a certain number of
puffs and come with a counter. Be sure to check the counter every time you
administer a metered dose inhaler so you’ll know when it needs to be replaced.
If an inhaler is not used correctly, much of the medicine may not end up in the
lungs. Using a spacer can help. A spacer is used to help the child get the full
dose of medication by holding it in the chamber long enough so the child can
breathe it in with multiple breaths. Follow the instructions for giving
medication using the inhaler with spacer, since all spacers are slightly different,
and be sure to have the parent or healthcare provider
show you how to use the child’s inhaler with the spacer. Some children may have a hard time using
an inhaler correctly, so they get inhaled medication using a nebulizer machine. A
nebulizer machine forces air through a solution of medication to create a
medicated mist. The child then uses a face mask or mouthpiece to breathe in
the mist. Using a nebulizer machine is not difficult but it does take practice
to learn how to put the parts together. Have the child’s parent demonstrate how
to assemble it. All nebulizer machines come with directions. Read them carefully
before using. Here are some general guidelines you will use regardless of
the type of machine. Check to make sure you have all of the nebulizer parts. Turn
on the machine to make sure it works. Most medication used in a nebulizer comes
in a single dose vial. Sometimes you may be required to administer two
medications through the nebulizer. If this is the case, be sure to check the
written medication consent form or individual healthcare plan for
instructions regarding combining medications. Watch the child during the
entire treatment to make sure he gets all the medication. Many parents will
supply a nebulizer machine to be used by their child. The nebulizer should be
labeled with the child’s first and last names and should only be used by that
child, but your program may have a nebulizer machine that is not labeled
for a specific child. Two or more children can share the machine if it is
not labeled for single use only. However, each child must have his own tubing,
medicine cup, and mouthpiece or facemask that is kept in a separate labelled bag.
Whether you’ve given medication by inhaler or nebulizer, it’s important to
follow the manufacturer’s instructions for keeping them clean after each use.
This prevents the spread of germs or giving a wrong dose due to the build up
of medication. And remember, never put the metered dose inhaler canister in water. Medication can also be breathed into the
body through the nose. Nasal medication comes in drops and spray. Because most
children find the sensation unpleasant giving nasal medication can be
challenging so keep the age of the child in mind and
try to make the experience as easy as you can. In addition to the instructions
follow these principles to give inhaled nasal medication. It’s a good idea to
have the child blow his nose or wipe away any visible mucus. Let the child
know he may taste the drops or spray. Positioning the child’s head properly
helps make sure he gets the medication correctly, so tilt his head back slightly.
Unless otherwise instructed, gently push up on the tip of the child’s nose so you
can see the nostrils and put the dropper or sprayer tip just a little into the
nose. It’s best to have an infant lie down to administer nose drops. Don’t
forget to plug the other nostril as you give the dose so the child can breathe
in the medication correctly, and remember, to avoid contamination wipe off the
dropper or sprayer tip after giving the dose. Your instructor will give you an
opportunity to practice giving inhaled medication.

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