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My Nebulizer’s “Dirty Head” for Colistin and Hyper-Sal 7% Saline

3 headsI mentioned on Twitter or the site (I’m getting so old now, I can’t remember anything) that I was using my “dirty head” at the moment. Someone asked for clarification, so I thought it to be worthy of a post now, so I can explain how I roll with 5 treatments in a row.

Pre-requisite reading: Fatboy’s Nebulizer Life

Now that you know my routine, here is the tip part of the write-up on the method I’ve learned after 4 years of having eFlows. I touched on it when talking about my 7% saline dose. Did you catch it? When I receive a new shipment of colistin, PSI is nice enough to send me a new Trio head. Getting Foundation Care to send a new head was like pulling teeth – it was every 3rd shipment and the metal disc was all bubbly and clogged by then. To say I’m happy with PSI would be a great understatement.

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Fatboy’s Nebulizer Life

Inhaled MedsOwing directly to my eFlow nebulizers (Why you NEED an eFlow a.k.a. Trio and Altera), there is no way I would be able to function with all of my responsibilities without being able to do speedy breathing treatments. They allow me to break down a dose into 90 seconds to 3 minutes, depending on the med and how much is in the vial. Look how darn portable they are, too!

Here is a run-down of what is in the photo, why I take it, when, and etc.

Left side from the back

Advair Diskus 500/50 – a steroidal control bronchodilator med that I take twice a day. It’s a dry powder that gets sucked in when a blister inside pops.

Albuterol – my first dose I take with my Trio in the long chain of meds. It’s, of course, a long-time friend of CFers and asthma patients as a bronchodilator. Twice a day again.

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Why you NEED an eFlow a.k.a. Trio and Altera

I’ve been using an eFlow nebulizer since March 2006, and it has single-handedly changed my ability to do all of the nebulized treatments that are prescribed. Like everyone else, I was raised on a pneumatic nebulizer pump. They’re loud and take forever and a day to run through 3mL of dosage, usually 20-30 minutes each, right? You have to have an outlet nearby or have a DC/AC converter for your car.

What if I told you that you can do a dose in 90 seconds to 3 minutes running on rechargeable AA batteries? It pretty much eliminates every excuse in your book about not having enough time or an outlet available. You can see by my list of meds how long 30 minutes per dose would take me every day with old technology.

My first eFlow was a first generation machine and was eventually determined to be ruining the little aerosol head that microscopically disperses the medicine into a mist much finer than any air-driven neb can. My doses were taking longer and longer, until it was taking as long as a regular neb, and I pretty much gave up on my treatments because I really didn’t have that much time. I got a new machine, now the current Trio by switching to another specialty pharmacy.
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