True story…..Shortly after I blogged my observations about a new neb that the RTs at UCSF tried me on while I was in the hospital in March, I received an email from Aerogen thanking me for the unsolicited review of their product. Unbeknownst to me, the RT dept at the hospital contacted Aerogen, telling them how much I appreciated being the first adult patient at UCSF to try out the new Aerogen continuous nebulization system and what a difference in made in my recovery.
In a subsequent email exchange with Aerogen, I asked, out of curiosity, if they made a home version of their hospital nebs. To my total surprise they said ” Yes, it’s called the Aeroneb Go and it would be our pleasure to send you one”. I said that would be awesome,thank you thank you…. 10 days later, the UPS man dropped off this box at my door. How cool is that.
After using the Aerogen Go neb 4 to 6 times a day for the past week, I think a legit review is in order. And since Ive already mentioned that Aerogen was kind enough to ***send me one at no cost or expectations in return*** , I can spare you the wordy product disclaimer stuff.
By no means am I an expert on the science involved, but you can trust this Respiratory Therapist when I say that this tiny vibrating mesh nebulizer cranks out the smallest particles of any commercially available neb. We’re talking particles that on average, measure 2-3 microns. That means that the medicine can get down into the smallest of airways, which is what you want when you have asthma or COPD. And it does this without a noisy compressor or jets. Oh, and speaking of noise, Aerogen nebulizers don’t make any. That’s right, no noise…none… nada. They’re virtually silent, because there’s no compressor used to create the aerosol. Instead, Aerogen developed a vibrating mesh technology where a tiny disk of palladium mesh with a thousand precision formed holes vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies ( 128,000 times per second) creating a micro pumping action which forces the medication through those tapered holes producing an optimum particle size. What you get is a thick cloud of aerosolized medication that you can inhale deeply into your lungs. And because you’re getting more medication where it needs to be, you might not need as many treatments. Finally, because the Aeroneb is so efficient at producing a fine mist, the treatment time is reduced. I clocked my 3 ml unit dose treatment at 3-4 minutes. With my other neb, its closer to 10 minutes.
But it’s not only about high performance and high tech, it’s the little things that matter too. For example, how many times have you looked for a place to lay or hang your nebulizer cup on when you’re not using it? The Aerogen has a simple donut stand, which holds the neb upright. To me that’s genius. Ah, but there’s more. The entire system weighs only weighs about 9 oz, and uses either AC power from the wall or 3 standard AAA batteries. Dont worry, the unit will run 3-5 hours continuously on high quality alkaline batteries. Try that with a Pari. As far as cleaning, the neb body and mouth pieces are made of durable plastic and be sanitized in a variety of ways.
So why is silent and small better? Well, if you’re like me and you have to take neb treatments in the middle of the night, the Aeroneb wont shock your eardrums or wake up the entire house like a compressor driven nebulizer can. And the fact that it’s portable, means you can place it on a small table next to your bed and not even have to get up to take a treatment. During the day Ive even put the controller in my pocket and do a treatment while Im walking around the house.
Are there any cons to this miraculous little neb? I’m really not sure because I haven’t it long enough. It obviously costs more than your standard generic chain store model. It also has components (ie, the cables) that could possible get damaged or wear out a little quicker than with a regular neb. Again in all fairness, I haven’t had the device long enough to make that determination. In any case, replacement parts are easy to come by.
Bottom line, if you have asthma, COPD , Cystic Fibrosis or any other lung condition that requires you to take nebulizer treatments, you should at least know that an ultra efficient and super quiet nebulizer for home use does exists and is readily available. In fact the Aeroneb has been around for several years, not sure how it got past my radar. One thing’s for sure, since I started using used the Aerogen nebulizers, both in the hospital setting and at home, Ive noticed a big difference in how I feel after taking a treatment. I hope you have similar results.