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Minerva Pediatrica 2000 March;52(3):137-42

Copyright © 2000 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Inhalation therapy in children with asthma

Brand P. L. P.


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Current consensus guidelines advocate the use of inhalation therapy for all children with asthma. In this paper, the published evidence on technical and practical aspects of inhalation therapy in children with asthma is reviewed. For children under 6 yr of age, nebulizers and metered dose inhaler (MDI)/spacer combinations can be used. Nebulizers are cumbersome, bulky, and difficult to operate. They require technical and hygienic maintenance. A number of studies has shown that nebulizers are no more effective in delivering bronchodilator therapy than MDI/spacer combinations. Thus, for young children with asthma, MDI/spacer combinations are the device of choice for inhalation therapy. Due to static charge, the output from plastic spacers is lower than that from metal spacers. Static charge on plastic spacers can be reduced by washing the spacer in detergent and allow it to drip dry. Most children aged 6 yr or over can use a dry powder inhaler (DPI) reliably. Modern DPIs require relatively low inspiratory flow rates for proper operation. Lung deposition from the Turbuhaler is twice as high as that from the Diskus, but the former device is slightly more difficult to operate than the latter. Many children with asthma have a poor inhalation technique. Because a reliable inhalation technique is the key to succesful inhalation therapy, inhalation technique should be instructed carefully and checked repeatedly in every asthmatic child using an inhaler device.

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