MDI use and COVID-19 patients | March 24

Island Health Pharmacy monitors our medication supplies daily and is working hard to maintain the supplies that we require, but we will experience supply issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be periodic updates as required should significant supply concerns develop.

Medical staff are encouraged to continue to avoid nebulizer therapies for COVID-19 patients due to the aerosol-generating properties that require extensive personal protective equipment use. As a consequence of this precaution however, there has been a significantly increased use of metered dose inhalers (MDIs). If current utilization rates continue, we now have less than a two-week supply of Salbutamol MDIs and there is limited supply available for purchase due to national restrictions.

To help preserve our MDI supplies, please only order MDIs for confirmed or strongly suspected COVID-19 patients so we can preserve our supply for COVID-19 related admissions.

Please do not send patients home with hospital supplied MDIs. These should be collected at discharge to be kept in reserve in pharmacy in case they need to be redeployed after undergoing a sterilizing process.

Clinical judgement, while considering patient safety and personal safety must be relied on, but please help us to preserve our MDI supply by only using them when absolutely necessary. 

For more information on treating COVID-19 patients please see the new COVID-19 order sets on the intranet. (Login required)

 Thank you -

Dr. Dean Kolodziejczyk, Medical Director of Pharmacy Services

Richard Jones, Director of Pharmacy Services


Additional details on the use and conservation of MDIs.