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Patient Education

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This paper investigates the principles of respiratory therapy in accordance with the literature in the book “Egan’s Fundamentals of Respiratory Care”. It establishes how one would educate a patient concerning the use of multiple inhalers. In addition, it elucidates how the patient would be made to understand the mechanism of action and the benefits of the inhalers.

It may be difficult to explain to a patient why he or she should use multiple inhalers if he or she has limited medical knowledge. However, those with background knowledge would quite easy to explain to. The use of inhalers is common among asthmatics with a chronic inflammation in the respiratory airways. Generally, asthmatics are usually given a combination of beta2 agonists and corticosteroids. Inflammation is managed by corticosteroids as the eosinophils that are causes it are very sensitive to the drugs. The breathing problem usually arises from the resultant over-reactivity of the smooth muscles leading to constriction of the bronchioles. It is the constriction that is targeted by the beta2 agonists because they cause smooth muscle relaxation. Therapeutically, a combination of the two drugs gives the best results in the long term as it treats both the cause and the symptoms (Wilkins 2000).

According to “Egan’s Fundamentals of Respiratory Care”, corticosteroids are also used to prevent desensitization of beta2 receptors on the bronchioles thereby, minimizing the effects of beta2 agonists in broncho-dilation. Thus, a combination therapy will potentiate the effect of each drug, thus ensuring that maximum therapy is attained. On the other hand, beta2 agonists are known to increase the effects of corticosteroids due to their complex interaction with glucocorticoid receptors leading to enhanced binding of corticosteroids to the DNA. Essentially, the mutual potentiating effects of these drugs have been the reason for a combination therapy (Wilkins 2000).

In conclusion, patient education is quite important as it ensures adherence to therapy and drug dosage. It should therefore be properly explained to the patients so that they can reap maximum benefits of their regimen.

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