clinical trials

Changes in the management of semi-critical
and non-critical devices used in hospitals have seen
the way spacers are used in the Hospital environment in Australia undergo rapid change. These changes to TGA guidelines mean that Hospitals and in particular respiratory function laboratories (RFLs) are not able to process their spacers through normal autoclave or thermal disinfection system (with the exception of items specified as being TGA approved for multi-patient use).

In parallel a number of companies have released
or are planning to release disposable or autoclavable spacers. Decisions to use a specific spacer with a respiratory laboratory may depend on a number of local factors, including access to, and cost of autoclaving, patient throughput, and clinical factors. In addition different spacers may have different delivery characteristics that may impact of a laboratory decision to select or exclude specific spacers.

The aims of this study were to:

1. Survey RFLs on their spacer usage habits,
including procession of spacers for reuse.

2. Assess the delivered dose of salbutamol to the "patient" using both the industry standard cascade impaction technique and the more physiological flow volume simulation technique.

The primary objective of the study was to provide an overall assessment of spacer performance that would allow each RFL to make decisions the most appropriate spacer for local conditions.

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