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A patient’s guide to nebuliser equipment – cleaning and maintenance

Bucks Integrated Respiratory Service (BIRS)

You can also download a PDF version of this patient information by following the link on the right.

Description of Nebuliser treatment

A nebuliser is drug delivery device that converts a drug solution into an aerosol mist by passing a pressurised gas through it. The drug is then directed into your lungs.

Nebulising a drug is a highly effective method of delivering drugs directly into your lungs, providing the correct equipment and gas flow is used with the appropriate drugs. You will be offered a nebuliser on loan if you need one for a period of treatment, or may need to buy one for your long term use.

The Parts:

Compressor unit – when in use do not leave it on the floor

This is the driving force that enables a nebuliser to convert the medicine into a gas.

The compressor forces the air through the drug solution into the nebuliser chamber where it is converted into the mist, which you breathe in through a mouthpiece.

A mouthpiece will be used to deliver your nebuliser therapy. This is connected to the nebuliser chamber and placed between your teeth and sealed by the lips while inhaling the medicine.

A mouthpiece is most commonly used as it prevents the medicine from getting into the eyes or causing irritation.

Nebuliser Chamber

The nebuliser chamber is where you put your liquid medication.


Tubing is used to get air from the compressor to the bottom of the nebuliser chamber.

How to Use:

Filling the Nebuliser Chamber – for single patient use.

Will it help?

  • Connect one end of the driveline to the outlet filter on your compressor.

driveline to outer filter diagram

  • Connect the other end of the driveline to the bottom of the blue nebuliser cup.

  • Remove the nebuliser top from the cup and pour medicine into the cup (max 10ml).

Pour medicine diagram

  • Screw the top back onto the cup.

Screw the top back on diagram

  • Connect either the face mask or mouthpiece to the nebuliser top.

connect face mask or mouthpiece diagram

Administering the Medication

  • Switch the compressor unit on.
  • Sitting in an upright relaxed position, place the mouthpiece into the mouth and start breathing slowly and do not breathe quickly.
  • Switch off the compressor when the misting has stopped.
  • Unplug the mains lead.


  • In order that you benefit fully from your equipment, it is important that the machine and accessories are kept in a clean condition.
  • Ensure that the medication chamber is taken apart and washed in warm soapy water after each use.
  • Rinse and dry.
  • The jet holes should be blown clear by attaching the chamber to the air outlet from the compressor and running the machine for a couple of minutes.
  • It is advisable that the tubing is disconnected from both the outlet filter and the chamber after each use to prolong the life of the connector.
  • Once a week soak the chamber in boiling water and washing up liquid for 10 minutes and dry thoroughly.

Changing the attachments

It is recommended that the following disposable items should be changed as follows:

Change every 3 months

  • Nebuliser chamber
  • Inlet filter
  • Driveline
  • Facemask

Change every 12 months

  • Mouthpiece
  • Outlet filter
Buckinghamshire Integrated Respiratory Service (BIRS)
Opening times
Buckinghamshire Integrated Respiratory Service (BIRS)

01296 255670

Opening times

Monday to Friday, 8.15am to 6.30pm

Weekends and bank holidays, 9am to 4.30pm

If you need medical advice out of hours please dial 111.

In the event of an emergency please call 999.