What are Nebulizers and How to Use Them


A nebulizer is a way to deliver medications directly to your lungs to help you breathe easier. Nebulizers add moisture to the medicine and produce a mist that you breathe through a mouthpiece. Your hospice nurse or respiratory therapist will show you how to use a nebulizer.

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How to Use A Nebulizer

Follow these steps for preparing and giving a nebulizer treatment:

  • Wash your hands before preparing your treatment.
  • Gather the equipment you will need, including:
    o Nebulizer machine
    o T piece
    o Medication cup
    o Corrugated tubing
    o Mouthpiece
    o Medication (The medication is usually delivered to you in premeasured doses.)
  • Unscrew the medication cup. Pour the medication into the bottom of the medication cup.
  • Screw the top of the medication cup on.
  • Attach the “T” piece to the top of the medication cup.
  • Place the mouthpiece on one end of the T piece and the corrugated tubing on the other end of the T piece.
  • Attach the long, thin tubing to the machine and the other end to the bottom or side of the medication cup.
  • Place yourself in an upright position, by sitting at the head of your bed.
  • Turn the machine on.
  • Breathe normally until all the medicine in the medication cup is gone. You may need to shake it periodically to get all the medicine nebulized.

Care of the Nebulizer

  • Wash the medication cup daily in hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
  • Replace the T piece, medication cup, and tubing every 2 weeks

Please call your Hospice team anytime for more information or support.

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