Albuterol Nebulizer Procedures for Patients With Tracheostomies


It is possible to give someone with a tracheostomy albuterol breathing treatments. Usually a medical professional should give these, but a lay person can be instructed on how to give these in a nonhospital setting. The person who will be doing the albuterol breathing treatments for a person with a tracheostomy will need to become familiar with the way nebulizer medicines are administered, the mechanics and techniques involved, troubleshooting and effectiveness of the treatment.

Small Volume Nebulizer

An albuterol breathing treatment can be easily administered with a device that is specifically designed for the tracheostomy. This is called a small volume nebulizer (SVN). The usual dose is 3 cc's of normal saline combined with 0.5 cc's of albuterol. Of course a different dose may be ordered by the doctor. It is important to follow his orders as accurately as possible. The svn can be attached simply and directly to the tracheostomy tube.

Oxygen Tubing

Next, oxygen tubing will be connected to the small volume nebulizer and turned on to at least 5 liters of oxygen a minute. This will result in a misting of the medication and normal saline which will then be breathed in by the patient. Anything less than 5 liters a minute will result in poor misting of the albuterol treatment.

Checking the Equipment

Check the small volume nebulizer frequently and instruct the person getting the treatment to breath the mist in and out slowly. After approximately 10 to 15 minutes the treatment should be done. This will be evident when there is no fluid left in the SVN and there is no more mist exuding from the open end of this apparatus.

End of Treatment

Disconnect the small volume nebulizer and oxygen. Now cleanse the nebulizer equipment by rinsing it in warm water and drying it with a clean paper towel. Sometimes the orders call for repeat treatments at specific intervals. It is not neccessary to clean the svn in-between treatments.

Other Treatments

It is possible to give other aerosol treatments via the tracheostomy tube. There are medications that can be administered this way. Check with your doctor and a qualified respiratory therapist. It is also possible for a person to self administer an SVN treatment if capable of doing so.

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