The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2009 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

EFFECT OF INTERMITTENT AND CONTINUOS OPERATION ON NEBULIZER CHARACTERISTICS : AN IN-VITRO STUDY

Ariel Berlinski1,3, Randy Willis2; 1Pediatrics, UAMS COM, Little Rock, AR; 2Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, AR; 3Pediatric Aerosol Laboratory, ACHRI, Little Rock, AR

Background: In-vitro evaluation of nebulizers includes characterization of the devices at different intervals during their operation time. Nebulizers are stopped at scheduled times and characteristics are measured. We hypothesized that running and stopping the nebulizers could affect the characteristics of the measured variables when compared to the same units operated in a continuous fashion. Methods: 4 small volume nebulizers (UP-DRAFT II OPTI-NEB, Hudson RCI, Temecula, CA) were loaded with 2.5mg/3ml of albuterol nebulizer solution and were run at 6 lpm of air. Nebulzer weight was determined on a precision scale while dry, after loading, and at every scheduled interruption. 10 μl aliquots were obtained before each weight to measure osmolarity (Osmette II, Precision Systems, Natick, MA). Nebulizers were run continuously for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 minutes and intermittently for 6 minutes with stops at 1 and 2 minute intervals. 4 large volume nebulizers (HOPE, B&B Technologies, Carlsbad, CA) were loaded with 16 ml of 0.5% albuterol nebulizer solution and 184 ml of saline solution. Units were operated with air at 10 lpm. Nebulizer weight was determined on a precision scale while dry, after loading, and at every scheduled interruption. Nebulizers were run continuously for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 hours and intermittently for 6 hours with interruptions at 1 and 2 hours intervals. Anova for repeated measures was used followed by Dunnet’s test when necessary. Statistical significance set at 0.05. Results: (mean ± SD of 4 samples). See table: Intermittent nebulization resulted in an increase of solution output at 6 min of operation and an increase in osmolarity at 2, 4 and 6 min of operation for the Hudson nebulizer. Less frequent interruptions had less effect on outcome variables. Intermittent operation of the Hope nebulizer did not affect its solution output. Conclusions: The use of intermittent operation of nebulizers to determine their characteristics at different points in time requires previous validation of the procedure demonstrating that the operation mode does not affect the measured variables. Sponsored Research - None

* p < 0.05 when compared to continuous

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