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Anales de Medicina Interna

versión impresa ISSN 0212-7199


DIAZ-LOPEZ, J. et al. Evaluation of the management of inhalers by the nursing personnel in a reference hospital. An. Med. Interna (Madrid) [online]. 2008, vol.25, n.3, pp.113-116. ISSN 0212-7199.

Objectives: To evaluate the knowledge and skills of nurses on the management of inhaled therapy in different hospitalization wards. Material and methods: We carried out a cross-sectional study, in which nurses were asked to perform a practical demonstration of the management of a pressurized canister with an inhalation chamber, without previous theoretical instruction about the technique. The inhalation technique was evaluated step by step following the recommendations of the Spanish Society of Pneumologists and Chest Surgeons (SEPAR). Results: We could obtain the participation of 144 of the 177 nurses working in different wards (29 males, 115 females, mean age 42.5 + 7 years). Previous knowledge of the management of inhalers was declared by 85.4%. We found that 70.8% of the nurses did not correctly perform all the steps: 24.5% made only one mistake, while the rest had mistakes in two or more steps. The most common mistakes were: not to perform a slow and deep exhalation before using the inhaler (27.3%), not to hold the breath after the inhalation (24.4%), and not to wait 30 seconds between inhalation manoeuvres (21.5%). When evaluating different wards, we found that 44.4% of the nurses in the Short Stay Unit performed the technique correctly in contrast to 31.3% of the nurses in the Pneumology Ward. Conclusions: The percentage of mistakes in the inhalation technique by the nursing personnel was high. The health personnel must have an adequate level of training in order to correctly instruct the patient, because the efficacy of inhaled treatment greatly depends on the adequacy of the technique.

Palabras clave : Inhalation technique; Knowledge of the inhalers; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Asthma.

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