Nebulisers

What are nebulisers?

  • Nebulisers are portable electric machines that create a mist of medication that can be inhaled into the lungs.
  • It is possible to nebulize all sorts of liquids, typically a medicine called salbuatmol (trade name Ventolin).
  • Some patients are also prescribed nebulised antibiotics.
  • Although the kit looks impressive, actually nebulisers are surprisingly inefficient at delivering medication to the lungs - a lot of the medication escapes into the atmosphere, rather than getting into the lungs.
  • Because of this, and particularly because modern hand held inhalers are much more efficient, we only prescribe nebulisers as a final resort.
  • Before prescribing a nebuliser it is important to check that the patient treatment is fully optimised e.g. correct dose and type of inhalers, inhaler technique is checked and that other aspects of treatment have been considered e.g. pulmonary rehabilitation classes.
  • Generally we don't supply nebulisers to patients who smoke.
  • Of course, there are some highly selected patients in whom nebulisers can be of additional value.

The term "nebuliser" is derived from the word "nebula" (a mist like configuration of stars).

Where can I learn more about nebulisers?

  • Click here for a great site hosted by the British Lung Foundation that explains all you could ever want to know about nebulisers.

Who is our nebuliser nurse?

  • Hi my name is Joyce Gall and I am part of the Nebuliser team at ARI.

What do I do?

  • I supply nebulisers, and advise how best to use them.
  • I help if the nebuliser does not work and can provide nebuliser servicing and replacement accessories eg filters & mouthpieces.

Some plastic ampoules containing liquid salbutamol (trade name Ventolin) which can be nebulised.

How to contact Joyce?

  • My office is based in Clinic C, Orange Zone, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
  • Telephone: 01224 551224 (you can leave voice messages if I'm not immediately available). ‚Äč
  • The service is 8am - 4pm - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, although there is coverage outwith these days (Monday & Friday) - note by appointment only.

How to request a nebuliser if I am a health care professional?

  • When a nebuliser is required it has to be agreed by a Respiratory Consultant or Registrar.
  • For GPs: Referrals can be made via SCI gateway.
  • For Hospital colleagues: Referrals can be made by email - the address is on Rotawatch, under Respiratory.
  • Once approval has been obtained, then we will arrange for the issue of a nebuliser e.g. delivery to a ward, to GP practice, or pick up at the Nebuliser team office in Clinic C.

How to request a nebuliser if I am a patient?

  • Nebulisers cannot be directly requested by patients - there has to be approval from your General Practitioner and / or Hospital Consultant.