Wanted to share with everyone in the hope it might help other children struggling to stay out of hospital every time they catch a cold...
Our 3 year old has been in and out of hospital on a 1 to 2 monthly basis with viral induced wheeze/asthma for 2 years now. He had 2 weeks worth of admissions in December alone. During December he was even diagnosed as having a status asthmaticus during one of his emergency admissions.
So... things were pretty bad despite religious following of asthma plan and him being on 400mcg clenil per day. At no point during any of our A&E visits, stays in hospital or trips to the consultant did anyone mention trying his spacer without a mask. Finally, 2 weeks ago, it was explained to me by new resp consultant that the aerochamber with face mask delivers about 10% of the inhaler dose, the volumatic with face mask delivers about 15% of the dose but that the volumatic used without a face mask delivers 60% of dose!!
This may be old news to a lot of you, but just in case it isn't... please, anybody out there with a child over 2 who is still using a face mask, get your nurse/gp/consultant to show you how to use the volumatic without the face mask as soon as possible. Sam picked it up after 2 attempts and uses the volumatic mouthpiece very happily (re-breathing technique, not 1 deep breath and hold).
After 6 weeks off nursery Sam went back 3 weeks ago, predictably he was off again 10 days later with a bad cold. He went into an attack at the weekend. BUT a miracle happened - 10 puffs of blue four hourly (including through the night) for 3 days and we managed the whole thing at home without pred!! First time we've done it for a year, and almost certainly all thanks to using the volumatic spacer without a mask. Fingers' crossed for staying at home with the next cold.