An aerosolized medication is a liquid medicine that has been changed into a fine mist. The child breathes this fine mist into his/her lungs.
A small air compressor, called a nebulizer machine, is used to change the liquid into a mist. The homecare company of your choice will provide this machine for you and will teach you how to use it and care for it.
General steps for aerosol treatment:
- Plug in machine.
- Connect tubing to machine nozzle.
- Place medication in nebulizer cup.
- Place mask or mouthpiece on nebulizer cup.
- Connect tubing to bottom of nebulizer cup.
- Turn compressor on.
- Breathe in mist until nebulizer cup is empty. This may take up to 15 minutes.
- Encourage slow deep breathing to allow the medication to go deeper into the lungs.
- Babies and young children breathe through a mask that directs the medicine to the nose and mouth. Older children use a mouthpiece to inhale the medicine.
- The masks and mouthpieces are available in many sizes. Be sure to obtain the correct size of equipment for your child.
- Young children may not want to sit quietly during these aerosol treatments. It may be helpful to have them watch television, read a book, or sing a song.
- It is best to finish an aerosol treatment even if your child is resisting the treatment. Your child needs to know that this medication is important and that you will give it regardless of his/her actions. Your child should eventually become comfortable with the aerosol treatments.