Hospital calls breathing equipment amnesty due to low stocks

An appeal for the return of vital breathing equipment has gone out from the respiratory centre team at Southampton General Hospital.

More than 600 nebulisers are currently on loan to patients across the region and a lack of returns from people who are no longer using them is leading to delays in treatment for those in need.

With stocks running low, staff are also unable to substitute machines due for service or in need of repair because of a lack of available replacements – so patients have to wait to continue with their treatment.

“Although we have sent letters to most of the patients who currently have a nebuliser in an attempt to recover them, that has so far proved unsuccessful,” said charge nurse Jon Watson.

“Each set costs over £80 and we are unable to continue replacing them as we have a constant need to update and renew other equipment in the department – the costs would be unsustainable.”

He added: “We are asking any patients who do not currently require the use of their equipment to drop it back to us as soon as possible.”

A nebuliser is used to administer medication in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs and is commonly used to treat COPD, asthma and other breathing diseases.

If patients or relatives have a device to return to the respiratory centre, they can call 023 8120 4325 or email

Posted on Tuesday 19 October 2010