Nebulizer use during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Many of our patients use a home nebulizer for care of their respiratory conditions. With the shortage of albuterol MDIs spreading throughout the U.S., you may be prescribing more nebulizers for use of albuterol by your patients.
It is very important that if you have a patient with COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 using a nebulizer at home, please keep in mind that the virus may persist in droplets in the air for 1-2 hours. Therefore, the administration of nebulized albuterol should be in a location that minimizes exposure to non-infected members of the household. The location could include outside on a porch or patio or in a garage, where air is not recirculated into the home and dependent surfaces can be easier to clean (or may not need cleaning).
If you still have albuterol MDIs at pharmacies in your area, the College wants to remind you to limit the number of refills you give to patients to those absolutely needed for the next few months. You should decline requests from the pharmacy for automated refills. You should discourage your patients from accepting automated refills of albuterol.
The ACAAI will continue to provide you with information to help you care for your patient population during this pandemic.