Patients who receive home care are generally able to stay at home for the majority of their treatment, while, in many cases, receiving attention from trained medical professionals. In other situations, however, having these medical professionals on hand is not necessary, so someone else becomes the primary caregiver for these individuals. In these cases, it is vital that the caregiver has the necessary home medical equipment to provide the patient with the care that he or she requires. This equipment includes items like nebulizers, air ionizers, and infusion pumps. Most of this equipment requires a prescription before it can be installed in the home.
If the patient needs medication but is often unable to take it on his or her own, nebulizers can help with the process. In basic terms, nebulizers turn the medication into a mist, which can then be inhaled by the patient. This is done by using compressed air or oxygen to break the medication down into small droplets. The patient then places his or her mouth and nose into the device’s mask and breathes in this mist. Those who suffer from severe respiratory ailments often use nebulizers because it allows the medication to reach their lungs immediately, which helps with breathing.
When a patient suffers from severe allergies or asthma, air ionizers can remove pollutants from the air, making it easier to breathe. These ionizers attract particles in the air through the use of electrodes. This is similar to how static electricity attracts fabrics to another. The ionizer then electrically charges the air molecule, which removes harmful particles from it. While most air purifiers will use a negative charge, ionizers use a positive charge to neutralize pollutants, allowing for cleaner air inside of the home.
Patients who need fluids, medication or nutrients cycled into their circulatory systems often require an infusion pump in their homes. These pumps are usually intravenous, but administer fluids in units that are too small for a traditional drip. Infusion pumps come in four different types, depending on the patient’s needs. Those who need constant infusions will have a continuous model. These can be programmed to infuse at different speeds. The intermittent model is used for medication, as it can inject the proper medicine at predetermined times. The patient-controlled infusion pump is the most common in the home, as the patient can give him or herself a dose of medicine or fluid whenever it is needed. Finally, the total nutrition model provides an infusion at mealtime for those who cannot eat.
You can find home medical equipment in a variety of locations, although you will need a prescription for insurance to cover it. Some of these devices are regulated by the FDA and, therefore, will need a prescription before they can be purchased. In most cases, you will be trained to use the device before it is installed in your home. That way, you can ensure that it is being used in a safe manner, which minimizes the chance of injury. Devices like nebulizers and air ionizers do not take much training to use and can be set up in the home in a manner of minutes.