Saturday, March 06, 2010

Do nebs work better in hospitals than at home?

The asthmatic patient took the breathing treatment from me, and puffed on it for about five minutes. I could tell just by looking at her that her breathing was getting better.

When the treatment was finished she said, "Wow! I feel much better! Why is it that breathing treatments work so much better in the hospital than at home?"

I get similar questions or comments regarding this all the time. People think that home nebs don't work as well as when they are given in the hospital. But, to be honest, it's the same medicine, so it shouldn't work any better.

So that got me to thinking. I remember the same thing when I was a bad asthmatic years ago. I remember feeling short of breath until I took a treatment in the hospital. Why is that? Sometimes I felt better as soon as I entered the hospital.

In fact, to be honest, even to this day I might use my inhaler a few times during the day at home, and when I go to work I never even take it with me because I never need it. Or if I do need it I just wait and my breathing gets better on its own. Why is that?

Here's my theory. I could be wrong, but then again, I could be right. As with most of medicine, it's based on theories, and my theory of why tx's work better in hospital as outside is that inside the hospital you are away from your allergens. Whatever "triggered" your asthma attack is not here.

Hence, your asthma symptoms seem to go away. Or, the treatment seems to work better.

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