Introduction and Objectives Hypertonic Saline (HTS) is known to accelerate tracheobronchial clearance and is felt to provide a useful adjunct to physiotherapy for airway clearance in bronchiectasis1. Previous studies have demonstrated improvement in lung function, quality of life and healthcare utilisation with the use of HTS in non-CF bronchiectasis2. We have surveyed use and patient experience of HTS in our non-CF bronchiectasis clinic.
Method All patients seen in our non-CF Bronchiectasis clinic over a four month period were invited to answer a questionnaire. Questionnaires were filled in anonymously and either returned to a box in clinic or by post.
Results A total of 96 patients returned a questionnaire. Overall 114 patients were invited to respond, resulting in a response rate was 84%. 55 respondents (57%) were current or past users of HTS, with 36 (65%) of these still using HTS. 49 (89%) of those who had used HTS had done so for at least a month. The percentage of patients using HTS who indicated an improvement in Airway Clearance, Breathlessness and Quality of Life, were 80%, 60% and 67% respectively. Of the 19 patients who had stopped treatment, only 6 (32%) did so due to side effects. The total number of patients who had experienced side effects was 10 (18%).
Conclusion Our survey demonstrates that a significant proportion of attendees to our non-CF Bronchiectasis clinic are taking, or have taken HTS treatment. Continued treatment is supported by positive feedback by patients on impact on symptoms and quality of life, as well as reasonable tolerability and side effect profile.
Kellett F, Redfern J, Niven RM. Evaluation of nebulised hypertonic saline (7%) as an adjunct to physiotherapy in patients with stable bronchiectasis. Respir Med 2005;99:27e31.
Kellett F, Robert NM. Nebulised 7% hypertonic saline improves lung function and quality of life in bronchiectasis. Respir Med. 2011 Dec;105(12):1831–5