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The ability of A&E personnel to demonstrate inhaler technique.
  1. J O'Donnell,
  2. R Birkinshaw,
  3. V Burke,
  4. P A Driscoll
  1. University Department of Emergency Medicine, Hope Hospital, Salford, United Kingdom.


    OBJECTIVE: To determine the ability of accident and emergency (A&E) personnel to demonstrate metered dose inhaler technique. METHODS: 25 senior house officers and 25 nurses working in A&E were individually interviewed and assessed on their knowledge of inhaler technique and competence in demonstrating the correct use of a metered dose inhaler. RESULTS: Demonstration of inhaler technique was generally poor by the staff assessed. Although 22 (88%) of the senior house officers were aware of the British Thoracic Society guidelines, only 10 (40%) routinely checked inhaler technique when discharging asthmatic patients. CONCLUSIONS: The A&E department offers an important opportunity for patient assessment and reinforcement of metered dose inhaler technique. Staff should be made aware of the British Thoracic Society guidelines and be competent at assessing and teaching inhaler technique.

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      BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and the British Association for Accident & Emergency Medicine