You see this done often: a breathing treatment with Albuterol, or even Albuterol plus Atrovent, and occasionally with Xopenex, for a continuous run of 2 plus treatments for up to an hour, or even 24 hours.
Well, I have never done a treatment for an entire day, yet I've heard of it by other therapists from other hospitals. The question of the day is: do continuous treatments do any good?
I've always been of the belief that three continuous treatments and you're out. By this point, those beta adrenergic receptor cells have to be saturated. And, usually, if you're going to see a patient's lungs open up, it'll be before that 4th treatment is started.
Another question I'd be willing to ask is: How long does an Albuterol microbial sit on a beta 2 receptor cell. If it's for less than 15 minutes, then I'd say go for the continuous. Yet, since most recipes for Albuterol say the medicine works for 4-6 hours, I'm willing to surmise that's about how long Albuterol lasts on the B2 cells.
Therefore, I'd say that if you're going to give a continuous treatment, I'd give up to three and then I'd wait at least a half hour before giving another. Give the patient a break. And give the Albuterol a break.
The problem with this is there is little science to back me up here. Yet, at the same time, there's little evidence to back the theory that continuous treatments do any good either, and we do them all the time at a pretty hefty cost.
Yet here I am on the defense again, even though the fans of giving continuous treatments are physicians and nurses who have no science on their side either.
So my plea here is for some research about continuous breathing treatments, and a plea to learn how long Albuterol sticks to those infamous B2 receptor cells in the lungs. Likewise, a plea for some common sense in the emergency room, and an end to fake theories about B2 medicine.