Andrea Robinson brought a large bag of tricks, in the form of a huge variety of inhalers. Some need a long slow breath and the others need a quick, strong, deep breath, We all think we are using this medication properly, but how many of us really are ?
We used a machine which showed how efficient our techniques are. I found out that I am not inhaling my dry powder Seretide and Spiriva correctly. The medicine is not getting down into my lungs. The test showed that my breathing isn't strong enough due to the severity of my COPD. - note to self - have a chat with my doctor about a change of prescription. It seems after all these years (10 in all) that I have not been getting the right amount of drug into my lungs. Is it any wonder there is confusion when you look at all the different inhalers on offer. These here are just a few of them.
This all sounds very serious, which it is of course, but Andrea made it into a fun session. There were so many devices to try out, and get the giggles over.
She did show us a device - an Incheck DIAL - which every surgery should have. It's a simple and cheap (about £25 I think) device which quickly indicates which type of inhaler is suitable for each patient by testing their sucking power.
It's amazing how many people are prescribed these inhalers with little or no instruction of how to use them - hence the true story of the man who was given an inhaler for his bad chest. Sometime later his nurse asked him if it was helping. "No" came the reply "I spray it on my chest and rub it in, but it doesn't do any good" What an incredible waste of an expensive medicine, and how sad for the person who didn't get the help he needed.