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  • Scotland to expand international recruitment for doctors and nurses

    Scotland to expand international recruitment for doctors and nurses

    Friday, 22 June 2018 16:07
  • GP trainee round 1 recruitment increases 10%

    GP trainee round 1 recruitment increases 10%

    Tuesday, 19 June 2018 17:53
  • Tier 2 visa cap relaxation for doctors welcomed

    Tier 2 visa cap relaxation for doctors welcomed

    Friday, 15 June 2018 18:39
  • England will lose more than 600 general practices by 2022, predicts BMA

    England will lose more than 600 general practices by 2022, predicts BMA

    Tuesday, 12 June 2018 12:03
  • Tier 2 visa rules need ‘common sense’ overhaul, says RCGP

    Tier 2 visa rules need ‘common sense’ overhaul, says RCGP

    Wednesday, 06 June 2018 12:56

a man asthma inhaler imageFebruary 27 2018

Prescribers are being asked to select asthma inhalers that people with rheumatoid arthritis can use to ensure optimal therapy, following new research.


Researchers from the University of Bath looked at the use of four commonly prescribed inhaler devices: the standard pressurised metered dose inhaler (pMDI), and the Easi-Breathe, HandiHaler and Turbohaler devices. The study involved 34 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and assessed inhaler use compared to the control group by using placebo inhaler devices. An In-Check Dial device measured the maximum inhalation flow rate.

Results indicated that “only 15% of the arthritis patients could complete all the steps to use one type of inhaler, called a HandiHaler, whereas 94% of the control group were able to. The HandiHaler requires seven steps to operate it properly, including removing a capsule of powered medicine from a foil blister pack, inserting it into the inhaler and piercing it for inhalation,” said the University.

“In contrast 85% of the arthritis patients and 100% of the control group could correctly use an inhaler called a Turbohaler, which has three steps; unscrewing a cap, twisting a dial and replacing the cap. Two other commonly prescribed inhalers saw the arthritis group struggle to complete the operating steps compared to the control group (50% to 91%, and 77% to 97%).”

The researchers have called on health professionals to help people with rheumatoid arthritis to find the most appropriate inhaler device for the individual.

Dr Matthew Jones, from the University’s Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, said: “These results show how important it is that health professionals make sure people can use any inhaler they prescribe. If someone gets home from a pharmacy with a new inhaler and finds they can’t use it, their lung disease will not be properly treated and the NHS loses money, as some inhalers cost more than £50 each.

“This simple training makes a real difference to how these patients can manage their respiratory disease. The consequences of not being able to physically operate an inhaler can be severe for patients, as badly treated asthma can be fatal.

“Pharmacists, doctors and nurses need to make these easy checks not only help patients achieve better outcomes but also reduce demand on the NHS, not to mention taking away the stress and irritation of a complex and difficult process for the patient. It’s a no-brainer.”

Links:
University of Bath announcement         
YS Shirmanesh and MD Jones. ‘Physical ability of people with rheumatoid arthritis and age-sex matched controls to use four commonly prescribed inhaler devices’. Respiratory Medicine. February 2018. 135: 12 – 14     

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