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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Review: The Able Spacer by Clement Clarke

Alright, so that title made it sound like I was reviewing a badly-titled, pretty awful-sounding book by a guy named Clement Clarke.

Don't worry, I'm not reading books like that just yet!

No, today I'm reviewing this:




This is the Able Spacer by Clement Clarke International. This is the spacer I use with my Ventolin Evohaler (i.e. the blue one, the puffer, help-I-can't-breathe) and in just three short paragraphs I am going to tell you all about this device.

Let's start with the cons. Well, to be honest, there are very few. I suppose it doesn't come in any other colours but this one, so you have to like it or lump it. It comes in a box which for all the world looks like the kind of box that you would get something in that you buy on a teleshopping channel:




I mean, I honestly expected to find 'As Seen on TV' somewhere on the box when I got mine at the pharmacy a few months ago. But hey, the actual product is what matters, and although efficacy is the most important thing when looking at health products like this, the actual spacer is streamlined, compact and simple in design. Not bad, really. However, there has to be a hamartia to this design and it is this:




You see where the blue bit at the top is attached to the clear bit? It isn't actually sealed. It is simply clicked into position. Because of this, the top bit has this unnerving tendency to come off when is opened. Of course, the blue bit itself clicks solidly onto the clear bit, and if it comes out then it is as simple as sliding it back into position. But this is a concern when you are opening the device up for cleaning or storage.

However, the pros far outweigh the cons. The spacer looks fairly cool (in spacer terms, obviously. It's hardly fashion statement of the year, let's face it) and its streamlined and compact design means it fits easily into a handbag or schoolbag or music bag, or even into the pockets of cargo or army trousers, if you aren't fussed about the little bump sticking out of your leg. It doesn't need to be dismantled to do so, as it is just under 15 cm long, 2 inches wide and 1.5 inches at its thickest part. Also, the Able Spacer has a very clever little mechanism which means that 1 inhaler can be stored INSIDE the spacer, like so:




This is my favourite feature, and definitely the spacer's best quality. It is really made to fit 1 larger inhaler, such as the Ventolin inhaler (a blue reliever inhaler) or any reliever MDI (200 metered doses), but you may well be able to squeeze in two smaller inhalers, like two preventer inhalers (don't quote me on this!) and I know for certain that for those of us who struggle to keep track of how many puffs we have used up, there is a bit of extra room which fits in one of those mini Sharpie pens, perfect for marking off those puffs on the canister or case!

So overall, despite the lack of colour choice, the dappy packaging and the worrying bit of extra plastic, the spacer's streamlined and compact design makes for easy washing and portability, as well as being lightweight for use. Actually being able to store an inhaler inside it is really awesome, as it means that inhaler and spacer are always together (aww, how cute) and it takes up less space on my person, as well as reassuring parents that their child always has their inhaler and spacer with them in one place.

For me, the Able Spacer is a winner, and although I was apprehensive when I first got it, I now know I wouldn't use anything else.