The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2002 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

INSPIRATORY FLOW RATES OF SCHOOL CHILDREN WHO USE METERED DOSE INHALERS

Tim Conlin MS RRT, St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, IN

Background: Proper inhalation technique when using inhalation devices is important for deposition of medication to the lungs. A common misconception among patients is to breathe hard and fast to get medicine in the airways. Recommended inhalation rate for MDI?s are 30-60 L/Min (1).Children who use metered dose inhalers often inhale too quickly, but there hasn?t been a simple way to measure actual speed of inhalation. A device called the In-Check DIAL is now available that measures inhalation flow rates for patients using inhalers.

Method: Students who were enrolled in an asthma education program in several schools were assessed inhalation flow rates. Students who said they currently use or have used a metered dose inhaler were tested prior to the education sessions. Using the In-Check DIAL, 3 measurements were recorded for each student, asking them to ?pretend this is a metered dose inhaler?, and inhale ?just like you do when you use your inhaler?. Average values were obtained for each of the students.

Results: 78 students in grades 2-5 were tested. Only 8 students achieved inspiratory rates of 30-60L/min, 70 recorded higher levels, with 48 students at 120 L/min or greater.

Conclusion: The majority of children in this sample inhale too fast when using a metered dose inhaler. The use of the In-Check DIAL can be a useful tool to help assess inhalation rates in children.

1. Carveth HJ, Kanner RE. Optimizing Deposition of Aerolized Drug in the Lung: A Review. Medscape Respiratory Care 3 (1), 1999

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