STATES CHRONICLE – There are many people in the world and the United States who suffer from asthma. Most of the patients are using inhalers when they are experiencing breathing difficulties. The inhalers are small devices which help deliver medicine in a quick way. The medicine delivered into the system is steroids, which should help the patient breathe more easily.
However, a very large number of people who suffer from asthma seem to be having trouble using the inhaler, in other words, they have no idea of how to use the device. This means that when they experience shortness of breath they might wind up in a hospital, although the problem could have been solved with an inhaler.
The same issue is also common among people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD.
Researchers assigned patients with COPD and asthma to receive instruction on how to use inhalers. After receiving the instructions, 91 percent of the patients managed to use the devices properly. From the ones who didn’t receive instructions, only 40 percent were able to use inhalers correctly.
Moreover, after being released from the hospital, from the ones who received personal instructions, only 17 percent had acute flare-ups, whereas 36 percent of the other group experienced problems.
Most of the instructions are not given by doctors per say but rather they listen to the patients reading the instructions aloud and go on talking about the disease. It is recommended that doctors and nurses demonstrate to the patients how an inhaler must be used and watch the patient use the inhaler afterwards to be able to correct any mistakes until the patient gets it right.
This procedure should take only a few minutes and could help save lives. There are many people who have low health literacy and might need more education than the others to understand their condition and how they must behave or what they must do in case of an emergency.
Although it might be difficult for medical staff to take up a few extra minutes of their time to demonstrate how an inhaler should be used, it will definitely improve the patient’s health in time, and fewer people will have to be hospitalized just because they didn’t know how to use an inhaler.
Image source: www.bing.com