Nebuliser Information Leaflet

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-864/2017
  • Departments: Lung Function
  • Last Updated: 22 March 2017


You have just been issued with a nebuliser compressor.  This leaflet provides you with information on how to use and care for your machine and also includes useful telephone numbers and addresses for you to contact should you need any more advice.

Your nebuliser will need to be exchanged annually for servicing.  You will find a sticker on your nebuliser with the date the service is due.  Please return your machine to the Lung Function Unit at Castle Hill Hospital or the Chest Clinic at Hull Royal Infirmary for exchange.

About your machine:

There are a number of different models of nebuliser.

All machines have the following features:

  • An outlet pipe
  • Electrical lead and plug
  • On/off switch

You will also be given a nebuliser kit containing:

  • One mask (or mouthpiece)
  • One pot
  • One length of tubing

This kit should be washed after every use.  Replacement kits can be ordered by calling the Lung Function Unit at Castle Hill Hospital on (01482) 623242.

How to use the machine along with your medication:

  • Make sure that you have a comfortable chair and that you will not be interrupted too much during your treatment.
  • Allow time to relax whilst you are using the machine, this way you will gain the maximum benefit from your medication.
  • Stand the machine on a hard surface (e.g. a table).  Standing your machine on a carpet or soft surface can clog the filter.
  • Plug the mains lead in at the wall socket and attach the adapter to the machine.
  • Place one end of the tubing onto the outlet pipe (you may need to push hard to ensure it is fitted correctly).  Then attach the nebuliser pot to the other end.
  • Your medication will have been prescribed for you in a vial (small plastic tube). Twist off the top and squeeze the contents into the main body of the pot.
  • Attach the mask or mouthpiece to the pot.

You are now ready to nebulise your medication.

  • Firstly switch the machine on (you should already have attached your tubing to the outlet pipe).
  • Place the mask over your nose and mouth and the strap behind your head.
  • Inhale the medication, breathing normally through either your nose or mouth and taking the occasional deep breath in until your treatment is complete.  When using a mouthpiece, place into the mouth ensuring lips are comfortably closed so as not to allow any leaks from the sides of the mouth.  The length of time taken to complete a dose will be on average 5 to 15 minutes, although this depends on each patient, the machine model and also the medication you have been prescribed.
  • When the treatment is coming to an end the tone of the machine may alter, the mist reduces and the pot should be almost empty.

Once your medication is completely gone, switch off the machine.

Please note.  In an acute attack of breathlessness, if you feel no benefit after your nebuliser treatment, or if you feel worse than normal, you should not use your nebuliser again.  The treatment delivered by your nebuliser is very powerful and if it is ineffective, additional treatment may be advised.  You should seek urgent advice from your doctor.

Cleaning your kit and machine:

After using your nebuliser, you must rinse the pot with warm soapy water under the tap and leave it to drip-dry.  Also wipe the mask over with a damp cloth.  This cleaning procedure is important for the effective use of your nebuliser.  You should keep your nebuliser clean by wiping it over with a damp cloth regularly.  There is no need to remove the tubing, but it is advised that you let the machine run for a few seconds without the pot attached to ensure no moisture can settle in the tube.

If your machine is not working properly:

As with all appliances, nebulisers can break down, however, if your machine is not working efficiently, there may be a simple problem.

If no mist is being produced, clean the pot, ensure the tube is not kinked and check the tube is attached correctly.  Also check the wall socket and the plug is connected.

If you can find no fault with the set up of the machine, you will need to exchange it.  Please contact the Lung Function Unit on Tel: (01482) 623242 at Castle Hill Hospital or, alternatively, bring your machine along to the Lung Function Unit situated within the outpatients department at Castle Hill Hospital (Entrance 2). The Lung Function Unit is signposted once inside the building.  A friend or relative can do this on your behalf.  We are open from:

Monday to Thursday  –   8.30am to 4.30pm     Friday –  8.30am to 4.00pm

If your machine breaks down after office hours or at the weekend, an emergency supply is allocated at Ward 500, Hull Royal Infirmary.  Please contact via Switchboard (01482) 875875.

This leaflet was produced by the Lung Function Unit, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust and will be reviewed in January 2020.

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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