Nebulisers and Paediatric Cough
by len king on Mar 12, 2023
A nebuliser is a medical device used to deliver medication to the lungs in the form of a mist. It is commonly used in the treatment of respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis. In paediatric medicine, nebulisers are often used to treat cough, which is a common symptom of many respiratory illnesses.
When a child coughs, it is usually a sign that their body is trying to clear the airways of mucus or other irritants. Coughing is a natural reflex that helps to protect the lungs from infection and inflammation. However, when coughing becomes persistent and disruptive, it can interfere with a child's sleep, eating, and overall quality of life.
Nebulisers can be used to help relieve cough in children by delivering medication directly to the lungs. The medication can help to reduce inflammation, open up airways, and loosen mucus, making it easier for the child to breathe and reducing the frequency and severity of coughing episodes.
There are several types of medications that can be delivered via nebuliser, including bronchodilators, corticosteroids, and mucolytics. Bronchodilators are medications that help to relax the muscles in the airways, allowing them to open up and making it easier to breathe. Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medications that can help to reduce swelling and irritation in the airways. Mucolytics are medications that help to thin out mucus, making it easier to cough up.
Nebulisers are generally safe and effective for use in children, but they do require some precautions and careful monitoring. It is important to use the nebuliser only as directed by a healthcare professional and to follow proper hygiene and cleaning procedures to prevent infection. Children should always be supervised when using a nebuliser and should never be left alone with the device.
In addition to nebuliser treatment, there are several other things parents can do to help relieve cough in children. These include:
- Encouraging the child to drink plenty of fluids to help loosen mucus and keep the airways hydrated.
- Using a humidifier or vaporizer in the child's room to help moisten the air and reduce irritation in the airways.
- Using saline nasal drops or a saline nasal spray to help relieve nasal congestion and reduce post-nasal drip.
- Keeping the child away from irritants such as smoke, dust, and pollution, which can aggravate cough.
In conclusion, nebulisers can be a valuable tool in the treatment of cough in children. By delivering medication directly to the lungs, nebulisers can help to reduce inflammation, open up airways, and loosen mucus, making it easier for children to breathe and reducing the frequency and severity of coughing episodes. However, nebuliser treatment should always be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional and should be combined with other measures to help relieve cough and improve the child's overall respiratory health.