Mucus Clearance Device
Patients with chronic respiratory disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, bronchitis, or bronchiectasis, require therapy to mobilize and remove mucus secretions from the lungs. A handheld mucus clearance device, also known as the flutter, can help such patients cough up secretions more easily.
The device works by using a ball valve that vibrates as the patient exhales vigorously through it. The vibrations propagate throughout the airways during expiration, loosening the mucus. As the patient repeats this process, the mucus progressively moves up the airways until the patient can easily cough it out. A licensed practitioner should determine the frequency and duration of device use.
When used before bronchodilator therapy in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the mucus clearance device has been shown to improve the patient’s response to the bronchodilator.
Mucus clearance device ▪ emesis basin ▪ tissues ▪ trash bag ▪ stethoscope ▪ oral care supplies (see “Oral care,” page 524) ▪ Optional: gloves.
Verify the doctor’s order.
Confirm the patient’s identity using with at least two patient identifiers according to your facility’s policy.1
Explain the procedure to the patient and answer any questions to decrease anxiety and increase cooperation. Tell him that this device will help move the mucus through his airways so that he can eventually expectorate it.
Auscultate the patient’s lungs and perform a baseline assessment.
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