These critical errors have been found common in children - the group which remains at highest risk for complications and death from asthma. They also often skipped using a spacer. A device that is recommended for use with an inhaler to help the right amount of asthma medication reaches the lungs.
"We know that asthma can be well managed in the majority of patients and using your inhaler correctly is key factor to managing asthma. Improper inhaler technique can contribute to children having uncontrolled asthma and needing to come to the hospital for their asthma. Our study suggests that as healthcare providers we can do a better job showing patients and families the correct inhaler and spacer technique, and checking it frequently to ensure they master it.," says lead author Waheeda Samady.
Out of 113 study participants, 42 percent missed at least one critical step in their inhaler technique. Researchers found that 18 percent did not use a spacer device with their inhaler and that these patients were mostly older.
"We see that our adolescent patients, who are transitioning to independent medication management, still need close monitoring to make sure they use their inhaler and spacer appropriately to achieve optimal asthma control. Teens may feel that using a spacer is only for younger children, but using a spacer is recommended for adults as well." says Dr. Samady. "."
Previous studies have shown that adding a spacer device to an inhaler increases the amount of asthma medication a person takes in.
"Children with asthma can lead full lives if they receive the right medication at the appropriate dose, which is why correct inhaler technique is so crucial," says Dr. Samady.