Newest Review: ... so the doctor also prescribed this aero chamber to help me administer this to him. The chamber is designed specifically for young infa... more
Aero Chamber Plus Device Infant Mask
Member Name: chrisandmark
Aero Chamber Plus Device Infant Mask
Date: 21/06/12, updated on 21/06/12 (202 review reads)
Advantages: Works brilliantly, comfortable to use, a soft and child-friendly mask
Disadvantages: Most children dislike having a mask over their face so it's not the most straightforward process!
My fifteen year old daughter was diagnosed with asthma at a very young age and relied on Ventolin inhalers administered through a spacer device for years, until one day she just 'outgrew' her asthma and I didn't see one of these huge and very clinical balloon style spacers again until last year when Hollie caught a nasty cold which lingered as a chest infection. Only I *didn't* see the ugly spacer, as Hollie's prescription was filled with a much more child-friendly Aerochamber Plus device.
The idea of any kind of spacer is to allow someone who needs Ventolin to get a measured dose, this is the paediatric version but they are beneficial to some adults as they help you to breathe the medication in naturally which is better (and easier) than using the inhaler in the usual 'puff' manner in shortness of breath circumstances. My mum is 60-odd and regularly uses her adult sized spacer to help ease her asthma; she is a chronic sufferer so has a rubber mask attached to hers, but they are generally available with a simple mouthpiece.
The Aerochamber Plus in particular is tube shaped, patently designed with children in mind it's brightly coloured with yellow trim and teddy bears printed on the clear tube. At the moment my seventeen month old son has a chest infection and to be honest the design is lost on him, but (then) three year old Hollie did appreciate it and it helped encourage her to use her inhaler on the regular basis that I'd been advised. The mask is attached to the spacer, which makes sense as it's designed to be used with very small children so a mouthpiece would be pretty much useless. It covers the nose and mouth, forming a good seal while having a soft and pleasant feel to make the process (ordeal?) of administering an inhaler to a toddler easier for mum and little one.
David hates the mask, really hates it. Mostly I'll do it while he's sleeping but on occasion have judged my timings wrong and had to use it while he's awake - then it takes both me and Mark to keep him immobile enough that I can keep the mask in the correct position! This isn't the fault of the Aerochamber though, they seem to have done everything possible to make it comfortable for the little one - although older, Hollie seemed to tolerate the mask much better so I'd say this is definitely something that will get easier as your babe grows.
The hole that has been punched out of the end of the spacer is perfect for sliding a standard size inhaler in, it's a good tight fit so none of the medication is lost or wasted. The Aerochamber works through valves and needs to be shaken before use, before pressing the inhaler and holding the mask in position for a few breaths. It's very simple, the only thing you need to watch out for is ensuring the inhaler itself is inserted correctly into the spacer as it's such a snug fit that it'll sometimes stick slightly - this is something you'll get the knack for though and it'll quickly become second nature to get it right first time.
One thing I really like about the Aerochamber Plus is the instruction sheet, it's just brilliantly done for a product like this. One side tells you how to use the device and the other has instructions on how to wash it, the clever thing is that each step is not only given in text but also has a small illustration of a teddy bear carrying out that particular step. This is great; having a rubber mask pushed onto your face while you're feeling breathless and poorly must be so horrible when you're a very young child, being able to show Hollie these sweet pictures reassured her and helped turn inhaler time into a kind of story to take her mind off it a little.
Incidentally, cleaning the device is simple enough but do read the instructions as it's a bit more complicated than just washing it. It needs to be thoroughly air dried and you also have to allow for soaking time, it's best to clean it immediately after use to ensure it's thoroughly dry for when you need it again. It's important to keep your Aerochamber Plus clean inside and out, I store David's in a make up bag to keep it free from dust but when his current course of Ventolin has finished will dispose of it as if my son is having difficulty breathing he'd be at the doctors rather than me trying to medicate him myself with an existing spacer and inhaler.
If purchased this spacer will cost around £12, although if your doctor is prescribing an inhaler for a very young child then they should automatically offer to add one to your prescription - if not ask for one, as to expect a baby to use an inhaler without a spacer makes it a pointless exercise. The Aerochamber Plus is not to be shared for hygiene and (presumably) cross-contamination reasons, another reason why I don't store it for 'next time' although providing you clean it thoroughly you'd obviously be fine to keep it if your little one has a more long term illness.
This spacer is, quite literally, a must have if your child is in the unfortunate position of having minor breathing problems. You simply couldn't administer a baby or toddler's inhaler without it, it's brilliantly designed and makes life with a poorly infant a little more bearable all round!
Summary: An indispensable item when your young child is prescribed an inhaler
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