Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cleaning Your Nebulizer Cups

Most reusable nebulizers are designed to last up to 6 months. More viscous medications like some antibiotics or improper cleaning may shorten this lifespan. To maintain optimal nebulizer performance it is important to thoroughly clean and disinfect the nebulizer according to the manufacturer´s instructions. PARI´s reusable nebulizers can be cleaned with warm water and liquid dish soap or cleaned in a dishwasher. For effective infection control, it is also important to disinfect the nebulizer regularly.

Medicare will approve replacements every 6 months and it may be wise to have a spare nebulizer in case of malfunction.

Cleaning: After every treatment, thoroughly rinse the nebulizer to remove medication. Hand-wash with warm water and dish soap. Rinse thoroughly. OR... Wash in the dishwasher using a dishwasher basket on the top rack.

Disinfecting: (done after cleaning) every 2nd treatment day, mix a solution of 1 part distilled white vinegar and 3 parts warm tap water in a clean bowl. Soak the nebulizer parts (except the tubing and mask) for 60 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. OR... Mix a solution using Control III® Nebulizer Disinfectant and soak for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. OR... Boil the nebulizer parts for 10 minutes.

Some medications when dry, may crystallize in the smallest holes in the nebulizer. This is especially true of antibiotics such as TOBI®, and when using “off label” uses of other antibiotics such as Tazicef.

Never run water through the tubing that attaches to your nebulizer. If your tubing appears to be dirty, it’s best to throw the tubing and the nebulizer away to prevent contamination or infection.

Occasionally moisture will appear in the nebulizer tubing. This may be the result of condensation occurring as the heat of your compressor motor warms a portion of the tubing. Inadvertent exposure to moisture during cleaning can also result in water in the tubing.

To remove moisture from the tubing, first, disconnect the nebulizer. Leaving the tubing attached to the compressor unit, allow the compressor to run air through it until. Make sure that the tubing is hanging down (e.g., dangling over the edge of your bathroom counter) so that gravity will allow the moisture to drain out.

Wipe away any excess moisture on the outside of the tubing using a lint-free cloth.

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