Breathing treatments are helpful for people who have asthma or other types of breathing conditions. The treatments are given to help open the airways and make breathing easier. Breathing treatments can be given through a metered dose inhaler, also known as an MDI, or through a nebulizer. Either type can be used through a trach tube or on a ventilator. This lesson will talk about treatments given via a trach tube without a ventilator.
Using a Nebulizer
Gather the supplies:
- Nebulizer machine
- Power source
- Aerosol tubing, T-connector, medicine cup (nebulizer)
Set it up:
- Insert the right dose of medicine into the medicine cup.
- Place the lid on the cup.
- Attach the T-connector to the lid.
- Attach the tubing to both ends of the T-connector.
- Attach the tubing to the nebulizer machine.
- Attach one end of the nebulizer to the trach tubing while the other end is open to the air.
Start the treatment:
- Turn the nebulizer on.
- The medicine in the cup will begin to turn into a fine mist.
- Have the person breathe normally until all of the mist is gone.
- When the mist is gone, the treatment is done.
Stop the treatment:
- Turn the nebulizer machine off.
- Remove the nebulizer tubing from the trach tube.
- Have the person continue to breathe normally.
- Sometimes a person may need to be suctioned after a treatment. To do so, please see the "Suctioning" section for more information.
Clean the equipment:
Take apart all of the nebulizer supplies and clean them for the next use. See the "Cleaning Equipment" lesson for more information on this topic.
Using a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)
Obtain the MDI medicine.
Attach the MDI adapter.
- Attach the MDI adapter to the Ambu Bag right below the filter.
Give the inhaler:
- Attach the extension tubing and the inhaler to the MDI adapter.
- Attach the Ambu Bag to the other end of the extension tubing that connects to the person's trach tube.
- Give the medicine by squirting one puff into the trach (push the MDI in a downward direction with the thumb while the rest of the hand cradles the adapter).
- Use the Ambu Bag to push the medicine into the trach. Give about 10 breaths.
- Give another puff of medicine and follow with 10 more breaths via the Ambu Bag.
Remove the MDI:
- Remove the MDI from the trach and the Ambu Bag
Clean the Equipment:
Take the MDI adapter and clean it for the next use. See the "Cleaning Equipment" lesson for more information on this topic.