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Are you worried about use of Nebulizer for your child? Read on

Nebulizers: Myths and Facts

In my Clinical practice I have seen so many parents and relatives of young children saying “NO to Nebulization”. Many parents do not want to nebulizer their kids as they think it causes addiction and is meant only for severe asthmatic patient.

Any person who is new to nebulization may have some misconceptions (especially lots of myth in public). The aim of this blog is to clear them.

 nebulizer_mask

What is Nebulizer?

It is a device which delivers liquid medicine in form of a mist inhaled in to the lungs. It is battery/electricity operated. Patients breathe through mouthpiece or face mask. They come in different shapes and sizes and create sound (as driven by a motor).

 nebulizer (mayaclinic.in)

 

Myth #1: It will cause addiction and will have to be used every time.

Fact: Nebulization is a mode of delivering a medicine. It does not cause addiction. Addiction is a attribute of drug (or medicine); it does not depend on mode of delivery. If any medicine has addiction potential, it will be for every mode of delivery i.e. oral, intravenous, intramuscular etc.

 

Myth#2: It is very strong i.e very high dose of medicines given through it.

Facts: Doses of medicine is very less as compared to oral medicine.  As drug goes directly where it is intended lower dose is needed. (Up to 100 to 1000 times less dose is needed in nebulizer as compared to oral or intravenous medicine).

 

Myth#3: It has more side effects

Facts:  Side effects are far less with nebulizers. As the drug is delivered directly into the lungs where it has to act; hence side effects are less. Whereas oral medications in form of syrups and dispersal tablets first goes into stomach where they are absorbed and then distributed in body so side effects are more.

 Nebulizer-Time

Myth#4: It takes longer time for drug to start acting.

Facts: Wrong.  As the medicine is going in form of mist directly into the lungs, so it will act faster and give relief much more quickly than oral medication.

 

Myth#5: It is very expensive.

Facts: No, the cost of each vial of medicine is very low as compared to oral medicines. And in case condition of child worsens than cost of one day of hospitalization will be much more than entire course of nebulization.

Myth#6: It is used ONLY for ASTHMA patients.

Facts: Nebulization is used in many conditions in children eg. Bronchiolitis, Wheeze associated lower respiratory tract infection (WLARI), RSV infection, emphysema. Most commonly it helps via dilating respiratory passage (bronchodilation) or decreasing edema (in case epinephrine is used). For children it is difficult to spit out sputum, so use of nebulization might help.

 

Myth#7: It is very complicated.

Facts: It is very simple and easiest way. You just have to connect the tubing with mask and fill the medicine and turn on the device. Child can breathe normally; no need to take deep breathing. Even your child can do it on its own and may feel like it’s a playful activity rather than and forceful thing (giving oral medicines). Inhalers are more complicated for children.

 

Myth#8: Proper dose is not delivered via nebulizer as most of it will go in air.

Fact: Nebulizers are considered as the best way to deliver the medicines in children (in case of hyper reacting airway illness). With inhalers you need to coordinate breathing with medicine dispersal. Oral medications can have erratic absorption as it depends on condition of gut (stomach upset can lead to poor absorption of medicines).

 nebulizer kids(mayaclinic.in)

Myth#9: You have to carry your nebulizer with you.

Fact: Now, so many portable ones are there, so it is very easy to carry them.

 nebulizers 3 clinic

Myth#10:  My baby is very small, it may harm the baby.

Facts: No. Smaller the baby more difficult it s for them to take out their flem. Nebulization will help them to take out all the secretions as it  will dilate the  respiratory passage. Nebulization will not harm your baby.

And lastly have faith in your doctor; they will not advise anything that is not good for baby. Remember both parents and doctors want your baby to get well soon.

 

 nebulizaion (mayaclinic.in)

 

Feel free to contact your child specialist or contact us at MAYA CLINIC.

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

” Healthy Kids, Happy Family”

Cough in Children: What to do ?

 

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Cough is the most common symptom and in all probabilities every child has had it once.  Important fact which I would like to share is that COUGH is a Protective reflex. It protects the spread of infection to airways in lung. But on certain occasions it needs a doctor’s visit; especially if the child is having breathing difficulty and not able to sleep at all at night.

Different types of Cough:

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Cough with barking sound:

Swelling in upper airway leads to barking cough i.e. swelling of Voice box (Larynx) or Windpipe (trachea) or whole of upper part in LTB (Croup). Croup is due to viral infection in most cases. It is sudden in onset and severe in younger kids with narrow airway. It has harsh, noisy character which occurs when child inhales.

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Cough with whistling (or musical sound):

When lower airway is involved it leads to musical or whistling sound. It can be sometimes audible from a distance too. Common causes are viral infections like Bronchiolitis in young children, WALRI & Asthma. Foreign body is also important cause in kids.

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Cough with Fever:

Cough associated with mild fever & running nose is mostly due to common cold. But if cough is associated with high grade fever and no running nose and breathing difficulty than Pneumonia needs to be ruled out. You should visit your child specialist soon.

 

Cough with vomiting:

Post tussive vomiting is very common in young children and should not be a cause a worry. As babies are not able to throw up mucus and secretions from lungs naturally by taking deep breath voluntarily, so vomiting with cough might relieve the child for some times . It occurs as cough can sometimes trigger gag reflex.

Persistent Cough:

Viral infections can last for 2 weeks. Children with asthma, allergies or chronic infections or repeated viral infections can cause persistent cough but if cough persists for more than 3 weeks than doctor visit is needed.

Prevent triggers: Cold Air, perfumes, Smoke, ice creams etc can start or prolong the cough in children.

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When is the right time to visit Child Specialist?

If your child is having any of the below features, you should contact your pediatrician

  • Fast breathing
  • Deep and effortful breathing
  • Bluish color on lips, face
  • High grade fever and no running nose
  • Young child less than 3 months old especially with fever
  • Special sound with cough. Eg Whopping cough, Stridor (noisy), musical sounds/ wheezing etc
  • Blood with cough
  • Child is very weak, irritable and cranky
  • Poor oral intake, decrease urine output and looks dehydrated.

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Expected treatment from Doctor?

Listening to the sound of cough can help doctor, besides History and clinical examinations.

Doctor should try to find the cause of cough and treat that. If it is viral infection, it will have its own course and will settle down with time only (usually around 2 weeks in children). No need of any cough syrup (medicine), unless the cough is disturbing sleep or child is coughing continuously for few minutes at a stretch and his life is disturbed significantly.

If cough medications are to be used than it is better to avoid combination drugs.

 cough-remedy-poster

Home remedies:

  • Honey at bed time can have soothing effect and prevent cough.
  • Warm milk with Haldi
  • Warm saline gargles
  • Steam inhalation can be given in certain cases. But in small kids , need to be very careful that they do not get burn injury with hot water. Best way is to generate steam via hot water in closed room or bathroom. And sit with your child in that room and let the child breath normally.
  • Cool-mist humidifier in your child’s bedroom might help with sleep.
  • Keep child well hydrate
  • Avoid over the counter medications and give them only on prescription of a child specialist.

 

Feel free to contact MAYA CLINiC for any queries.

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

“Healthy Kids, Happy Family”