Devices for Aerosol Delivery in the Treatment of Adults with Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Published: 2021-06-23
676 words
3 pages
6 min to read
Boston College
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COPD, an acronym for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and asthma are common ailments in the United States mostly associated with the elderly. More than 10% of elderly people above the age of 75 suffer from either or both ailments (Taffet, Donohue, & Altman, 2013). The cornerstone of the ailments is by the use of inhaled medications or aerosol delivery and the devices used in the administration fall under three categories nebulizers, dry powder inhalers, and pressurized metered dose inhalers. However, there are concerns on the devices that the patients use as they more cause more harm to their health when improperly used. In the exposition, I will dwell in the safety and considerations that patients using the devices should receive. It is necessary for the healthcare professionals to administer proper training to the patients to avoid cases of harm or injury. For instance, nebulizers are ideal for those not able to use handheld devices efficiently due to disability or aging.

According to Lavorini, Mannini, and Chellini (2015), inhaled drugs are the mainstay of pharmacological management of COPD and Asthma mainly due to the ease of delivery and the reduced risks of adverse effects risks that may arise from systemic absorption. The use of pressurized metered dose inhalers (pMDIs) began in the mid-20th century. However, there are specific instructions on the use of the devices since improper use may cause harm or result in under or over dosage of the drug. A patient is supposed to follow three basic steps 1) firing the device as one breathes in to discharge the drug (aerosol), 2) inspiring acutely and gradually, and 3) holding their breath for the drug to take effect. As the steps sound easy and quick to master, many patients have a difficult time doing the procedure correctly.

Studies indicate that the use of pressurized metered dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers may have errors thereby harboring the effective delivery of aerosols. One causal factor is the misuse of the devices that can lead to poorer symptom control necessitating the need for emergency measures. The errors in the device use may be due to patient-related factors, device-related factors, and medical practitioner-related factors. Medical practitioners offer suitable education to patients to minimize the occurrence of errors when patients administer the aerosols solely. However, from the research results, there is a need for additional research to determine suitable ways of minimizing or eradicating errors that occur when using devices for aerosol delivery in Asthma and COPD treatment. According to Gross et al. (2014), research is necessary to determine the causes of errors in the use of the aerosol delivery devices. One of the areas medics should research on is the safety and tolerability of the drugs administered such as inhaled Loxapine, a first-generation antipsychotic, in patients suffering from COPD.

Conclusively, it is evident that numerous research studies are mandatory in the eradication of the errors that occur during the administration of aerosols using the various prohibited devices to reduce cases of patient harm and injury. The treatment of Asthma and COPD in the United States is mainly via the use of inhalers as indicated in the researchers findings. However, the numerous cases of errors in the administration of the medication arise from three factors, patient-related factors, device-related factors and medical practitioner-related factors. When all the factors are appropriately addressed, there will be minimal cases of patient risks. Training and educating the patients is mandatory to ensure the devices are properly used.



Gross, N., Greos, L., Meltzer, E., Spangenthal, S., Fishman, R., Spyker, D., & Cassella, J. (2014). Safety and Tolerability of Inhaled Loxapine in Subjects with Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary DiseaseTwo Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal Of Aerosol Medicine And Pulmonary Drug Delivery, 27(6), 478-487.

Lavorini, F., Mannini, C., & Chellini, E. (2015). Challenges of Inhaler Use in the Treatment of Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. EMJ Respir. Retrieved from

Taffet, G., Donohue, J., & Altman, P. (2013). Considerations for managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the elderly. Clinical Interventions In Aging, 23.

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