Nebulizer A-Z

Steps to clean the device

Jet nebulisers are the most widely used nebulisers, be it in homes, clinics or hospitals.

Given below are the steps for cleaning and disinfecting jet nebulisers. However, it is recommended that the user also refer to and follow the steps detailed in the manufacturer’s information booklet.

Nebulisers should be cleaned after each treatment and also disinfected daily to prevent the risk of infection. Here are some tips that can help you with cleaning and maintaining the nebuliser:

CLEANING:

1. Turn off the power switch and unplug the power cord.

2. Disconnect the tubing from the air outlet on the compressor.

3. Detach the face mask or mouthpiece from the medication cup. Remove the cap of the medication cup.

4. Wash all the accessories (except the tubing) in warm water or a mild detergent solution. Remove any detergent residue by rinsing the accessories in warm water and allow them to air-dry.

5. Wipe the outer surface of the tubing regularly. If any liquid droplets are noticed in the tubing, connect the tubing to the compressor air outlet, detach the medication cup, switch on the compressor and blow air through the tubing for a few seconds to dry it out.

6. Do not towel-dry the accessories. The accessories must be air-dried in a clean place.

The cleaning should be done after every use and disinfection should be done once daily.

Remember to clean and disinfect the nebuliser accessories daily.

1. Disinfection of the device needs to be done once in 24 hours. It can be done at home by using a disinfecting agent such as rubbing alcohol (70% isopropanol). In clinics or hospitals, another option that can be used is 3% hydrogen peroxide. If rubbing alcohol is used, immerse the accessories for 5 minutes; if using hydrogen peroxide, immerse the accessories for 30 minutes. An electric steam steriliser (baby bottle steriliser) can also be used. Simply boiling the accessories in clean water for 5 minutes can also effectively disinfect them.

2. After disinfecting the accessories, rinse them thoroughly with water. If this is not possible, rinse them with filtered or tap water. Then keep them in a clean place to air-dry

Nebuliser accessories such as a face mask, mouthpiece, baffle, medication cup and its cap (excluding the tubing) should be cleaned after every use and disinfected daily.

  Cleaning Disinfection
Frequency After every use Once in 24 Hours
Agents Warm water or mild detergent solution Rubbing alcohol(home use)
Disinfectant such as 3% hydrogen peroxide(for clinic/hospital use)
Time 10 Minutes 5-30 Minutes(depending on disinfectant used)
Techniques Rinse & air-dry Soak, Rinse & air-dry

Care of the nebulizer

  1. When the compressor is not in use, cover it with a clean cloth and keep it in a safe, dry and secure place.
  2. Do not keep the air compressor on the floor either for storage or for treatment.
  3. Check the filter in the air compressor regularly. The filter in the compressor filters the surrounding air, which is pumped with pressure by the compressor into the tubing. Replace it according to the directions given by the equipment supplier. This filter is disposable and should not be washed and reused and, generally, spare filters are provided with the nebulisation kit.
  4. All the accessories required for nebuliser therapy can be obtained from the equipment supplier.
  5. Store the medications for nebulisation in a cool, dry place as per the instructions on the pack.
  6. Check the medications frequently for any change in colour or turbidity or crystal formation. If present, throw them away and replace them with new ones.

For your convenience, always keep a backup for the medication cup, tubing, compressorair filters, face mask or mouthpiece, and medications. Also keep a spare compressor as a backup (useful in case of a compressor breakdown), which can be availed of from the equipment supplier.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions while cleaning your nebuliser.

Jet nebuliser Ultrasonic nebuliser Flesh nebulise
  1. Wash all the accessories (except the tubing) in warm, water/mild detergent solution.
  2. Remove any detergent residues by rinsing the accessories in warm water and leave them to air-dry.
  3. Use a clean cloth to wipe the outer surface of the tubing and the compressor
  4. If some liquid remains in the tubing, connect it to the compressor and blow air through it for a few seconds to dry it out.
  5. Change the compressor air filter immediately as soon as discolouration is seen, i.e.  its colour changes from white to yellow.
  1. Wash all the accessories such as the mouthpiece/facemask, medication cup with warm water or mild detergent solution or with a commercially available disinfectant.
  2. Remove any detergent residues by rinsing the accessories in warm water and leave them to air-dry.
  3. Use a soft damp cloth to wipe the main unit of the nebuliser.
  1. Wash mouthpiece/ facemask, and the medication cup after every use in warm water or with a mild detergent solution or with a commercially available disinfectantand leave them to air-dry.
  2. Do not touch the mesh while cleaning, as it may damage the mesh.
  3. The medication remaining in the mesh holes can be removed by nebulising clean water after reassembling the unit and then air-drying it.
  4. Remove any detergent residues by rinsing the accessories in warm water and leave them to air-dry.
  5. Use a soft, clean cloth to wipe the main unit of the mesh nebuliser.
REFERENCES

Respir Care 2015;60(6):917–930

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