Therapeutic Aerosols in Mechanically Ventilated Patients

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  • An aerosol is a suspension of solid or liquid particles in a gas.

  • A nebulizer is a device that can convert a liquid into aerosol droplets suitable for patient inhalation.

Aerosols have been used medicinally for thousands of years [1]. The inherent appeal of therapeutic aerosols is two fold: First, the delivery of pulmonary pharmaceuticals direct to the tracheo-bronchial and/or alveolar epithelium, and second, the rapid delivery of drugs to the systemic circulation. The latter, exploits the easily accessible, large absorptive surface area and minimal diffusion distance to the circulation that the respiratory tract provides, together with avoidance of first pass entero-hepatic metabolism.