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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 243-245

An indigenous in-line metered dose inhaler actuation device

Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, PGIMER and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Neha Gupta
802, Mahavir Apartments, Plot 5A, Sector-22, Dwarka, New Delhi - 110 077
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-354X.203032

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Date of Web Publication27-Mar-2017

How to cite this article:
Gupta N, Goila AK, Sood R. An indigenous in-line metered dose inhaler actuation device. Saudi J Anaesth 2017;11:243-5

How to cite this URL:
Gupta N, Goila AK, Sood R. An indigenous in-line metered dose inhaler actuation device. Saudi J Anaesth [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Mar 28];11:243-5. Available from:


Aerosolized bronchodilator therapy is the mainstay of treatment for the management of perioperative bronchospasm in reactive airway disease. Pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs) are routinely used for this purpose. Even in critical care setting, delivery of bronchodilators and steroids with pMDIs in mechanically ventilated patients has been used increasingly in recent years.[1] The use of pMDIs has several advantages over small volume nebulizers such as cost effectiveness, ease of administration, less time consumption, reliability of dosing, and a lower risk of contamination.[2]

pMDIs were actually never designed for inhalation therapy to mechanically ventilated patients, thus their adaptation for this purpose involved substantial modifications. For pMDIs to be used in ventilator-supported patients, actuation devices that could be connected in closed, pressurized circuits were required.[3] These devices range from simple adaptors with a port, for example, 22 mm male–22 mm female connector with an MDI insert (Intersurgical Ltd, UK) and single nozzle to more complex spacer chambers (Smiths Medical, Portex®).[4] During a brief period of nonavailability of such commercially available devices in our institution, we decided to create our own indigenous in-line pMDI actuation device. We took a standard 15 mm M/15 mm F elbow connector (which is itself a part of the anesthesia or ventilator circuit) [Figure 1]. We modified it by creating a conical hole (with base of the cone at the surface) in its wall at the angle part, facing the 15 mm F end. This was done using a stainless steel (SS) one inch long, 2.5 mm diameter tapered self-tapping screw [Figure 2]. The elbow adaptor was marked on its convexity diametrically opposite to the 15 mm F end with a No. 11 surgical blade. Then, the “tapered SS screw” was screwed on this mark till its advancing tapered end went through the wall of the elbow connector. The screw was subsequently removed leaving behind a through-n-through conical hole in the wall of the elbow connector [Figure 3].
Figure 1: Elbow connector (15 M/15 F)

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Figure 2: Through hole created by drilling a conical screw in direction of the patient's airway

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Figure 3: Conical through hole with 2.5 mm as maximum diameter at base

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During aerosol therapy to the patient, this modified elbow connector can be attached between the standard endotracheal tube universal connector and the Y-connector [Figure 4]. The nozzle of the pMDI canister can then be fitted into the conical hole, and the pMDI can be actuated synchronized with inspiration for direct drug delivery to the tracheobronchial tree [Figure 5].In vitro studies have shown that aerosol drug delivery to the lower respiratory tract ranges from 0.3% to 97.5% with pMDIs.[5] This wide variation in drug delivery can be attributed to various factors such as ventilator mode and settings, heat and humidification of the inspired gas, density of inhaled gas, size of endotracheal tube, and method of connecting pMDI in the ventilator circuit.[2] Thus, a correct technique of administration is essential for successful aerosol therapy using pMDIs. The optimal technique for drug delivery by pMDI in ventilated patients is as follows:[1],[3]
Figure 4: Administration of aerosol therapy to the patient using the modified elbow connector

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Figure 5: Metered-dose inhaler canister mounted at the conical thro' hole with 2.5 mm as maximum diameter at base

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  1. Assure tidal volume >500 ml (in adults) during assisted ventilation
  2. Remove excess secretions
  3. Shake pMDI vigorously
  4. Place pMDI in adaptor in ventilatory circuit
  5. Coordinate pMDI actuation with beginning of inspiration
  6. Allow a breath hold at end inspiration for 3–5 s
  7. Allow passive exhalation
  8. Wait at least 15s between actuations; administer total dose.

With the help of our indigenous in-line pMDI actuation device and following the above-mentioned technique of administration, we have been able to manage perioperative bronchospasm successfully as well as deliver aerosol therapy easily and effectively to critically ill patients.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Dhand R, Tobin MJ. Inhaled bronchodilator therapy in mechanically ventilated patients. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1997;156:3-10.  Back to cited text no. 1
Georgopoulos D, Mouloudi E, Kondili E, Klimathianaki M. Bronchodilator delivery with metered-dose inhaler during mechanical ventilation. Crit Care 2000;4:227-34.  Back to cited text no. 2
Ari A, Fink JB, Dhand R. Inhalation therapy in patients receiving mechanical ventilation: An update. J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv 2012;25:319-32.  Back to cited text no. 3
Ari A, Hess D, Myers TR, Rau JL. A guide to aerosol delivery devices for respiratory therapists. Am Assoc Res Care 2009;33:1-43.  Back to cited text no. 4
Fink JB, Dhand R, Grychowski J, Fahey PJ, Tobin MJ. Reconciling in vitro and in vivo measurements of aerosol delivery from a metered-dose inhaler during mechanical ventilation and defining efficiency-enhancing factors. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1999;159:63-8.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]


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