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Effervescent Breathing Treatment

Breathing treatment that only requires water
  [vote for,

Anyone familiar with the inhaled medication "nebulizer" or the "inhaler" will appreciate the benefit of this idea.

I propose an Alka-Seltzer like tablet that when placed into water will produce a vapor that can be inhaled to treat common breathing problems such as Asthma or allergic reactions using much the same mode as the aforementioned delivery devices. Thus allowing for quick relief to breathing difficulties.

Such an approach would not be intended for day to day use but rather as an emergency treatment for children who do not normally require such treatment(like children with Croup or Pnuemonia) Or when regular treatment modes are unavailable(inhaler runs out, camping or travelling, etc.)

These tablets would be packed in foil lined pouches and would be strong enough to stand up to being carried in a pocket or purse or in car first aid kit.

jhomrighaus, May 08 2006

Inhaler http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inhaler
Wikipedia entry. Mentions nebulisers and powder devices. [st3f, May 08 2006]

Lung Volumes http://en.wikipedia...iki/Residual_volume
[reensure, May 09 2006]

Asthma http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asthma
[reensure, May 09 2006]

MDI http://en.wikipedia...etered_dose_inhaler
The metered dose inhaler [reensure, May 09 2006]


       ™, ©, ®, & +   

       Knowing you'll have to fight off a slew of competitors that will bust the market with CO² cartridge-powered or foot-pump powered options, but I like your Idea for simplicity and audacity,[jhomrighaus]
reensure, May 08 2006

       Nebulisers dispense a small, measured does of liquid in aerosol form so that it can be inhaled and can act immediately on the lungs.   

       I wonder how far liquid is carried up in to the air by the action of an effervescent tablet. I laso wonder how large the droplets are going to be, how much of the liquid that is vapourised is going to be water and how you measure the dosage of the drug.   

       If carrying a nebuliser/spare cartridge is impractical, a powder dispenser may be an alternative (see wikipedia link).
st3f, May 08 2006

       From my experience with inhaled nebulizer treatment It appeared that the amount of material actually inhaled was not precisly metered more that a cloud of material was held in the air so that it would be inhaled with each breath. This is probably different with inhalers after looking at the link.
jhomrighaus, May 08 2006

       My estimation is that 99% of people who use a standard, compressed air based inhaler use it wrong. My next estimation is that 75% of prescriptions written for measured dose inhalers are written for the wrong reason. Primatene® (alt-0174 = ®, keyboard magic) MDIs didn't go off-market despite a raft of competition, despite being the sole rescue breather available until sometime in the 1990s. Since the introduction of albuterol and ipatropium, with large scale government subsidies awarded to distributors of these drugs, the market for them has exploded. Strangely enough, so has the number of histrionic "puffers" seemingly dependent on them. On that note, refer back to my opening remark about the effectiveness and efficiency issues surrounding consumer practices.   

       Sitting on a fizzy for emergency inhalant administration strikes me as a novel idea.
reensure, May 08 2006

       What do you think if the tablet were placed on the tounge and then breath slowly through mouth to draw droplets into lungs(this would be hard with young children) but might work well for older children or adults.
jhomrighaus, May 08 2006

       [histrionic "puffers" seemingly dependent on them] Amen. I went to the specialist one day for allergies (I was a Benadryl otc zombie) and was told I have ASTHMA. I left with 4 prescriptions, only one (Allegra) of which I had any intention of trying. I didn't like Allegra, so I moved on to Zyrtec. Zyrtec is a miracle. I don't have ASTHMA anymore, and I never filled the scripts for inhalers, and I don't even need the Zyrtec when I'm on vacation from my cat. The specialist now says I can be managed by my GP-I guess without asthma I'm not worthwhile anymore. :-)   

       Whoever thought up inhaling steroids?
AH, May 08 2006

       <wild guess> If a mask similar to oxygen rebreather masks held solution and effervescence compound, the rig could be metered to discharge a regular amount of drug over a sustained period, say 0.4mg/minute over 5 minutes. Most would be aspirated, rather than inhaled, so this would work best with drugs for metered administration that have a wide range of effectiveness and good safety profile. Further, the drug chosen should be effective taken sublingually or transdermally via oral or nasopharynx mucous membranes, due to a minimal amount reaching deep lung membranes.
reensure, May 08 2006

       I miss [no12pass]. Sorry to go all sentimental, but she had asthma. [+]
Letsbuildafort, May 08 2006

       I think the key point here is Ultra simple, no tools or devices required, if you can spit on it it will work type of simplicity.
jhomrighaus, May 08 2006

       I recently bought a box of tablets that were designed to be used in the shower. The theory was that the hot water dissolved them and soothing vapors were released. They were nasty. The soothing vapors never showed up, but a chemical reek did. Vicks brand, I think. Urgh.
baconbrain, May 08 2006

       [reensure], what do you mean by the 99% estimation you made earlier? How are they being used wrongly?   

       Regarding keyboard magic, why does it only work on the numerical keypad and not the row of numbers at the top of the keyboard?
Texticle, May 09 2006

       seeing the title, I thought you meant these could be carried under water by divers in case there was a problem with their oxygen tank. All they have to do is pull out a fresh tablet every couple of seconds.   

       erm. (+).
neilp, May 09 2006

       [Texticle]: My math is: Watch 100 people use an MDI, they all use it incorrectly. An aside, none were seriously short of breath but just inhale two, three, or four times daily because "that's how I was told to use it". The funniest users hit it up like a big ol' blunt ... "soooooook soooooook .. whew" Gawd.   

       Tell 'em what's up and try to demonstrate proper use to them, you find their conditioned responses are too deeply held and they'll humor you but not practice your advice.
reensure, May 09 2006

       So I gather that the correct way to use them is dissimiliar to the manner in which one would hit up a big ol' blunt. Any expansion on that?   

       You'll have to forgive me, as I'm not an asthmatic and have never been told the correct way to use an inhaler. I'm just interested because 99% misuse grabbed my attention.
Texticle, May 09 2006

       Yeah. I know what you mean, [Texticle]. If hauling in smoke from a cig is the best way, why not imitate that way? On the other hand, really, that technique is almost like "not inhaling", causing hyperventilation and increased anxiety.   

       Bronchodilators are effective when absorbed by mucous membrane lining breathing passages at the site of a bronchial constriction. The drugs are also effective bronchodilators when delivered systemically by absorption in the gut or by injection. Misuse of MDIs is typically seen when a user pumps the dispenser 2, 3, 4, or more times in a single breath. Harder to observe, another category of misuse is failing to hold one's breath after inhalation of one pump. Ideally, a user pumps once on inhalation, holds breath for at least a ten count while slowly exhaling through pursed lips as though blowing out a candle. The twin act of breath retention and PEP brought on by straining to breathe out through pursed lips allows inhaled medication time to 'settle' to the affected lung areas and forces the constricted deeper lung tissue open to which air find less resistance and will naturally move deeper.   

       Ancillary problem: many users who've held prescriptions for these medications have never had an episode of shortness of breath. They're diagnosed as having bronchitis and are prescribed MDIs since there is a higher risk for asthmatic episodes in individuals with acute bronchitis: preventive medicine. There's no real motivation for them to do more that "read how much and how often" from the package, and from that point on treat the MDI dose like any pill -- a necessary evil to stay on their doctors' "friendly" list.   

       That's all I have to say on the subject. If you have other questions, I've linked to definitions above.
reensure, May 10 2006

       Nice idea![+]
kuupuuluu, May 10 2006


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