Objective. To evaluate inhalation device cleaning practices of children with asthma and its effect on their asthma morbidity. Methods. A survey of patients aged 4 to 18 years admitted to an urban pediatric emergency department (ED) with an acute asthma exacerbation. Questions included demographics, asthma history, preference of delivery devices, and frequency of device cleaning. Patients were followed until their disposition from the ED, or until the end of their hospitalization, if admitted. Results. 220 subjects completed the survey. Mean age was 9.2 (> 3.9) years-old. One hundred and four (47.3%) patients used both nebulizers and spacer devices, while 18 (8.1%) used spacers only and 98 (44.5%) used nebulizers alone. Seventy-seven (38.1%; 95%CI: 31.7%-45.0%) patients cleaned their nebulizers and 57 (46.7%; 95%CI: 38.1%-55.4%) cleaned their spacer devices after each use as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. There were no detectable differences in visit admission rate, total number of previous admissions, number of asthma exacerbations per year, and number of ED visits in one year between users who cleaned their devices after every, or every other use, compared to those who cleaned their devices less frequently. Conclusion. Although the majority of patients did not follow accepted guidelines for inhalation device cleaning, further studies are necessary to correlate cleaning practices to patients' clinical outcome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine