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Healthcare workers 'don't know how best inhaler practice'

Some asthma patients are are not being taught how to use inhalers properly, as many healthcare workers are unaware of how to effectively use the medication, according to an article.

Being unable to correctly administer inhalers may have serious implications as, even when the right technique is used, at best only 20% to 35% of the drug reaches the lungs, and sometimes none reaches the lungs at all.

The claims were published in the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin.

Last year, more than 45 million inhaler prescriptions for people with asthma and other respiratory conditions were issued in England, which totalled more than £900 million.

According to the authors, one study found that 91% of healthcare professions who teach patients how to administer their asthma medication could not show they knew all the steps involved in using the inhaler.

“There is a widespread lack of attention with regard to teaching, checking and re-checking inhaler technique and this applies to prescribers, healthcare professionals who review patients and those involved in the dispensing and supply of such medication,” the authors wrote.

“Only when healthcare professionals are competent and confident to use inhalers can we be sure that patients and the NHS will be getting best value for money.”


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