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Friday, February 28, 2014

What's new with nebulizers?

A lot of people HATE Facebook, but you can find out some interesting things on there! One of my friends was talking about her kids being sick, and how they needed a breathing treatment with the nebulizer. One of her friends said they have a new pacifier hook up on the nebulizer now. 

I just did a quick search online now, and didn't find anything about an osygen mask that would work with a pacifier. Has anyone seen anything like that? My kids are older now (teenagers to be exact), so they can just use a plain old boring mask. But there are lot of things for kids now!
I found LOTS of cute nebulizers (our is boring like the one pictured above) Here's what I found on Just Nebulizers website

I found some masks on Shop Nebulizer's website 

There are a LOT of websites out there for buying nebulizers and masks. Our insurance paid for our nebulizer, so the home health care company brought a boring regular style. I would have liked a cute animal shaped nebulizer when my kids were little. Home health care did bring us animal masks.

To make it a little less scary, we would have our kids give a breathing treatment to their stuffed animal first (teddy, kitty, puppy, etc). We would put a little bit of water into the canister from the tubing kit, just enough to make a mist for a few minutes for their stuffed animal's breathing treatment. When it was empty, we would put Albuterol, Atrovent or Xopenex in the vial and then the kids would get "their turn".

Our home health care agency delivered the nebulizer and showed us how to use it and how to clean it. They were sooooo helpful! When you get a nebulizer for the first time, it can be a little scary. If you use it a lot, you will get really good at assembling it, giving a treatment, and taking the canister section apart and cleaning it. 
I even got to the point where I could assemble it in the dark in the middle of the night and then take it into one of the kid's rooms and do the breathing treatment while they slept. Then I would check their oxygen level with a oximeter before staggering back to bed. You can buy inexpensive oximeters at Walgreens or other stores. 

They are literally lifesavers! Ask your doctor if you should use one. The hospital told us they would admit the kids to the hospital once their oxygen level was around 89. When I would put the oximeter on their finger, and if it their level would drop to around 91, I would head to the Emergency Room. I know that oxygen levels drop while you sleep. So I knew that it would soon drop down to 89.

This is what worked for our family, but ask your doctor how he wants you to use an oximeter. I love modern medicine, because they are always coming up with something new.
And since we know our kids better than anyone else, we know when something "just doesn't look right" and they need to go to the Emergency Room. The oximeter would help me make that decision. I have insurance, so I knew that an Emergency Room visit would be covered. I would rather turn my kid's care over the the professionals. If they told me my kids were okay, we would head back home. 12 times out of 13, they were hospitalized. So, if you think something is wrong, call your doc or head to the Emergency Room. I wrote a post on "When to go to the ER" It might help!  
Happy nebulizer shopping! :) 


  1. There are a large number of nebulizers out there...they all don't work the same. Almost all fail to deliver medicine once they start "sputtering". You can't tell if they are delivering effective doses of medicine by watching; some work well on their sides, some do not..
    Oximeters are used for a variety of reasons in monitoring asthma but you should be aware that people stop breathing from asthma attacks not due to low oxygen but because they retain carbon dioxide. Increased carbon dioxide in the blood tells the brain to stop sending signals to breath. Oximeters do not measure carbon dioxide! Using oximetry levels to decide whether to go to the emergency room could be a fatal decision.
    Thanks for your great blogging. You raise some really important points

    1. Hi Edward,

      Good info about the nebulizers and oximeters!

      We also watch for other asthma emergency symptoms (pale skin and dark lips, retraction, and rapid shallow breathing.)

      The oximeter helps me put a number on my kid's condition so I can tell the ER staff what my kid's reading was when I left the house :)

  2. Excellent blog very nice and unique information related to asthma and nebulizer treatments. Thanks for sharing this information.
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    1. Jenifer, thanks for stopping by!

      I'll keep blogging so everyone can keep reading! :)

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  5. I've heard about the dummy mask thing, although I haven't looked into it yet!

    Last time I was in the hospital, I was having a life-threatening asthma attack and was in for a week. I think the neb they used was the same as yours! We kept the tubing kit in for a few treatments per my request, but you know it needs changing when the tubing literally pops out of the nebuliser!!! Just as a tip; when I'm in the hospital, I hang neb masks or Oxygen masks/cannulae on the headphones hook on the pull-down TVs. They might not be the same in America but if they're anything like the ones in the link then they are perfect!
    (just ignore the article)

  6. Now more than ever before, it is possible to stay on schedule with your nebulizer treatments while maintaining an active lifestyle. Our travel nebulizers feature