LIVING WELL WITH COPD Using a Nebulizer Nebulizers change liquid medicines into a mist. You can inhale that mist into your lungs. There are three basic parts • The nebulizer cup that holds the medicine • A compressor machine that converts the medicine to a mist • A mask or mouthpiece for breathing in the mist Small, quiet, handheld nebulizers are also available now. Nebulizer treatments usually take from 8 to 10 minutes to deliver a full dose of medicine. Some of the new nebulizers may deliver the medication in less time. To use a nebulizer: 1 5 WASH HANDS STEP 1: Always wash your hands before handling the medication and equipment. This keeps your nebulizer – and your lungs – free of germs. STEP 5: Place the mouthpiece in your mouth, or put the mask firmly over mouth and nose. 6 2 PLUG IN, ATTACH ALL STEP 2: Check the machine to make sure the air filter is clean. Plug it in. Attach the tubing, mouthpiece, or mask. 3 BREATH IN AND OUT STEP 6: Turn on the machine. Breathe in and out slowly through your mouth until all the medicine is gone or there is no more mist coming out. Keep the machine upright at all times. 7 CHECK MEDICATION STEP 3: Check your medication. Is the vial crushed or damaged? Is the medication discolored? Has it expired? If you answer “yes” to any of these, contact your pharmacist for a new supply. 4 POUR INTO CUP STEP 4: Snap open the vial. Pour the premixed medicine into the nebulizer. 16 MOUTHPIECE IN MOUTH TURN OFF, REMOVE CUP STEP 7: Turn off the machine. Remove the cup. STEP 8: It is VERY IMPORTANT to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to KEEP your nebulizer cup, mouthpiece, and tubing clean. When everything is clean and dry, store the equipment where it will stay clean and dust-free. Nebulizer cup/mouthpiece units and tubing don’t last forever. The plastic will break down over time. Replace them as recommended, along with the air filter.