Cheap asthma treatment using a homemade spacer

Do homemade spacers for asthma work?

Take a look at how WhiteCoat “MacGyvered” a spacer for a metered dose inhaler, which can cost up to $100. So, instead of this:

Cheap asthma treatment using a homemade spacer

You get this:

Cheap asthma treatment using a homemade spacer


While keeping in mind that this blog does not give medical advice, consider a study from The Lancet that compared homemade spacers to more conventional ones. In the conclusion, the authors write: “A conventional spacer and sealed 500 mL plastic bottle produced similar bronchodilation, an unsealed bottle gave intermediate improvement in lung function.”

The piece also mentioned that something simple like this can be applied to asthma guidelines developing countries. Fascinating.

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  • Eduardo Alvarado

    Very good news for developing countries : homemade devices are ass effective as the conventional one. We have been using this “adaptations” (even using the ClNa bottles) for long time ago in Peru, where many people cannot afford the conventional spacers (US$ 6).

  • Chuck Brooks

    Imagine the positive results if this kind of ingenuity were allowed in the health industry. Think of the savings in time and, not least, money, and perhaps even more wondrous to contemplate, the elimination of the bureaucracies and government meddling.
    Chuck Brooks
    FutureWare SCG

  • ninguem

    I did some third world mission work. It’s amazing sometimes. One local saw the anesthetics, said “I can do that”, and made a damn good EMO-type vaporizer (used for diethyl ether), out of a paint can and salvaged parts.

    Impoverished, but not stupid.

  • GingerB

    If you’ve got a kid getting meds and needs school or camp to have the whole set-up it would be helpful to rig something like this up.

    I can imagine that a school or camp might give you a hard time about a homemade device, they usually want everything to be perfect to the letter. If it were me I’d keep the homemade one at home and sent the one I bought off crossing my fingers it would eventually come back.

  • Guest

    Great idea but will the plastic bottle cause harm ala BPA, etc.?

  • Vicky

    Love the creativity. Very Cheech and Chong.

  • Classof65

    I love it! I worked for Marquest Medical for 10 years. We manufactured (mostly) disposable medical devices — ABG syringes, nebulizers, cannulae, respiratory and anesthesia circuits. If only our engineers would have been as imaginative as the person who devised this device. Maybe we’d still be in business today instead of being absorbed by Vital Signs…

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