In the last few days, I have heard a similar story twice….and you know the old folks tale that everything comes in 3’s. I hope I can help prevent the third one!
So, I was talking to friends at work about asthmatics not taking the cap off inhalers when they show us they know how to use their inhaler. I merely said, you know it may be because a lot a people don’t even know where the cap is so they don’t have that step! That’s when on two separate occasions, I heard stories of asthmatics going to use their inhalers and without realizing they had objects that had gotten in the inhaler mouthpiece and as they inhaled the object was sucked up into their lungs.
I thought…WOW! How many times are inhalers thrown into a gym bag or purse and the person rushes off to work or the gym? How many times have inhalers been picked up to be used and the cap was off? How many times have inhalers not been shaken properly and just inhaled? All that is very possible…but no one thinks about sucking bobby pins, coins, or chewing gum paper into the lungs! It’s a innocent mistake that could have serious consequences, like death.
The morale of the story is take the time to do the simple things…SLOW DOWN and take care of things that are designed to make medication safer…like putting the cap on your inhaler!