Making Space for Spacers

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) are pleased to announce a new initiative to distribute free spacers for use with respiratory inhalers to regional asthma societies and organisations across New Zealand.

Spacers are empty plastic tubes that are used with metered dose inhalers (MDIs) to help people get the best from their inhalers. Getting the inhaler technique right can be difficult, and using a spacer reduces the need for perfect technique.

ARFNZ CEO Letitia O’Dwyer recently completed a tiki-tour visiting asthma societies around New Zealand, and says that this initiative came from listening to how the Foundation could help the asthma community at a grassroots level.

"Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ takes our role seriously," says Letitia. "We’re always looking at ways to take action, and make a difference in a practical way. The topic of accessing spacers has been raised to the Foundation on numerous occasions by frustrated asthma society nurses, who have stated how hard it is to get hold of the limited supply of spacers that general practices order.

"We’ve really listened to the asthma societies, health professionals, and other advocates, so we’re thrilled to be able to provide these now."

"Spacers can deliver up to twice the medication as using an inhaler on its own," says ARFNZ Head of Education and Research Teresa Demetriou. "Using a spacer also reduces the amount of medicine left in the mouth and throat, reducing the potential side effects that some people experience after using their inhaler. Spacers really mean more relief with less effort and fewer side-effects; it’s a great deal."

The spacer distribution programme is made possible through a collaboration with Apex Medical, and the generous support of ARFNZ’s donors and grant providers.

For more about how spacers can assist with asthma, visit the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation website at arfnz.org.nz.