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Using Chest/Lungs Instruments

Nebulizers come in different types, and it is helpful to use the one that is best suited for the therapy you are administering. Many CF drugs are administered with jet nebulizers, which make a liquid drug into a mist by forcing air through a thin film of the liquid and smashing it into small droplets. Here is a look at three different nebulizer types.

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  • T-Piece Nebulizer: This unvented device allows extra air to enter through the back of the T piece when aerosol is inhaled, diluting it.
  • Sidestream Nebulizer: Approved for use with Pulmozyme®, this device can be used with a compressor to make very small droplets that go deep into the lung. This system should not be used with some inhaled drugs such as antibiotics, because it wastes medicine when you exhale.
  • Breath-Enhanced Nebulizer: This device draws in extra air only when you inhale. You intake more drug when you inhale and waste less when you exhale.
Some compressors are more powerful than others. So they generate higher pressure and airflow. Medicine droplets are smaller, and treatment times are shorter, but more medicine is wasted. Some powerful compressors are expensive and may not be covered by insurance. Battery-operated compressors are handy for travel, but they make less pressure than plug-in compressors, so drug effectiveness can be diminished and treatment times can be extended.

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