Bite-sized learning: Changing and recording filters - nebulizer compressors

This week we're sharing best practice on nebulizer compressors - namely checking them over, changing them monthly and the importance of documenting the date of the change. If filters aren't checked and changed regularly there is a risk patients could develop an infection.

How to check if the air inlet filter is dirty or contaminated, and when to change it

  • Look for discolouration or grey shading (dust).
  • The filter should be changed on the first of the month or after an infected patient. This is done by ward areas that have their own devices or by EBME for the equipment pool devices.

How to replace a dirty or contaminated air inlet filter?

  • Usually unscrew but refer to instructions if unsure

Do you understand the daily need to wash and dry the nebuliser chamber?

  • It's important because it removes dried medication and prevents clogging of the nebulizer.
  • Consumables are single patient use, but the compressor can be used between patients.
  • Please note a compressor used by an infected patient should stay with the patient until end of treatment, the device should then be decontaminated, the filter changed and then returned to its base area.

How to clean the compressor?

  • WIPE with approved product as per current Trust Infection Control policy.
  • Do not immerse.