Anti-static spacer device reduces asthma symptoms and A&E visits

Charlotte Edwards 7 February 2018 (Last Updated February 7th, 2018 17:26)

A real world study of more than 18,000 patients has demonstrated that people who use a newly available anti-static spacer with their inhaler have superior asthma control, resulting in 13% less A&E visits and reducing hospitalisations by up to 19%.

Anti-static spacer device reduces asthma symptoms and A&E visits
Using the new spacer with asthma inhalers makes them more effective. Credit: Ian Cowey

A real world study of more than 18,000 patients has demonstrated that people who use a newly available anti-static spacer with their inhaler have superior asthma control, resulting in 13% less A&E visits and reducing hospitalisations by up to 19%.

Trudell Medical International claims its new spacer is the company’s most advanced chamber to date. The AeroChamber Plus Flow-Vu is predominately aimed at patients who struggle with the coordination of administering their metered-dose inhaler (MDI) medication.

The spacer is made from an antistatic polymer which prevents electrostatic charge-related loss of medication to the walls of the chamber and allows it to be used straight out of the packet without pre-treatment or preparation. It also contains a dedicated inhalation indicator, branded as ‘Flow-Vu’, which enables the patient to monitor how they are inhaling the medication.

The anti-static properties of the device result in more of the inhaled steroids reaching the lungs rather than being wrongly dispensed at the back of the throat or roof of the mouth. A study published in Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics provided in vitro evidence that the AeroChamber Plus Flow-Vu delivers aerosolised medications more effectively than other valve holding chambers (VHCs).

Dr Sanjeeva Dissanayake, lead author of the comparative device study, said: “This in vitro equivalence study shows that even superficially similar antistatic chambers deliver different amounts of medication, and reinforces the view that chambers, including newer antistatic chambers, should not automatically be considered interchangeable.”

The NHS has been in a state of crisis this winter which has been exacerbated by patients going to A&E with respiratory conditions that are aggravated by cold temperatures. Trudell Medical International said the AeroChamber Plus Flow-Vu spacer – which was made available on prescription in the UK in November 2017 – aims to reduce some of the 121,000 A&E attendances by British asthma patients.

Dr Alan Clark, regional head of Europe Trudell Medical UK, said: “A 13% reduction may mean 15,730 fewer visits to A&E by asthma patients each year. Furthermore, if all people with asthma currently using a pMDI plus VHC in the UK were switched to the AeroChamber Plus Flow-Vu anti-static VHC, our budget impact model shows that in one year the UK health system could reallocate £7.2m of healthcare resources to other areas of need due to reduced demand by patients with asthma.”

The National Review of Asthma Deaths in Britain reported that misunderstanding and misuse of inhalers may have contributed to a significant number of the 195 asthma deaths reported during 2012. Despite effective medication being available, 82% of asthma patients believe their condition is poorly controlled.