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Philips Respironics MiniElite Compressor Review

Philips MiniElitePhilips Respironics sent me a MiniElite unit with a SideStream Plus handset and slim lithium ion battery to test and give my expert review as a user of nebulizers for over 30 years, so I put it through its paces and have come to a conclusion about their product.


My first impression of the MiniElite was amazement over how small it is. It’s about twice the size of an aquarium air pump! If I had this when I was in high school doing nebs on the way to golf practice and tournaments, it would have made life SO much easier. We used to have a DC to AC converter to plug in our 10lb compressor and then a dose took 20-30 minutes. I hated having CF every day of the week back then.

Imagine having a 1.4lb compressor with an optional thin lithium-ion battery that snaps to the bottom of it for use in the car or out anywhere you can’t get to an AC or DC outlet. It also comes with a carrying case that is smaller than my overnight toiletry bag and the base unit has a neb cut-out to stand the nebulizer up so the mouthpiece isn’t laying down on a dirty surface after use. Pretty impressive design.
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Not Enough Hours in the Day Without Trio

That Is EverythingI’ve mused in past articles, particularly those about my compliance and having the Trio for my nebulizer being the integral part of that compliance. Last night, as we were laying in front of the boob tube (no, not watching boobs, being boobs), I had to get up and start my nebs because Beautiful has insisted that I stop going to bed at 1 or 2am watching my site stats from my midnight posts.

She caught herself protesting my abandoning her to go to the couch, but realized before she was done that I was making a sacrifice, too, because I was comfortable and enjoying spending time with her – it was not my preference to get up.

As I made it into the kitchen, she said something to the effect of, “Aerosols, aerosols, aerosols! If you didn’t have the eFlow, you’d be doing them all day long, seriously! You’d start in the morning, and by the time you were done, it’d be time to do your afternoon one, and then we’d eat and you’d just start over again… for another 3 hours.” I’d literally be doing 6-8 hours of aerosols per day. I’m sorry, but that’s not a compatible way to live a life and “live a life.” You can’t hold down a job doing that, and even running  your own business from the couch would be hard, too.

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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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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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