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When it comes to airway clearance therapy, the best medical advice can only come from someone who knows you – your doctor. The information provided throughout this website is only intended to help inform those involved in making important decisions about airway clearance therapy and does not substitute for the advice provided by a medical professional.

Symptoms Indicating Consideration of Vest Therapy

Presence of these symptoms may suggest that a patient could benefit from airway clearance therapy:

  • Daily production of large amounts of sputum
  • Production of thick, sticky secretions in the lungs
  • Difficulty or inability to clear secretions from airways
  • Secretion clearance problems contributing to impaired Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
  • Suboptimal oxygen levels
  • Deterioration of chronic pulmonary condition with secretion clearance needs
  • Chronic cough
  • Ineffective cough or secretion clearance due to immobility or muscle weakness
  • Mucus hyper-secretion and retention
  • Mucus plugging and atelectasis

Patient Profile

Airway clearance needs may emerge from several factors that diminish normal secretion clearance including:

  • Alternative airway clearance therapies proven ineffective or contraindicated
  • A diagnosis known to alter mucus clearance (see Conditions Associated below)
  • Tracheostomy and chronic tracheal suctioning requirements
  • History of recurring:
    • Bronchitis
    • Pneumonia
    • Supplemental oxygen use
    • Aspiration
    • Antibiotic use for respiratory infections
    • Hospitalizations for respiratory related conditions

Conditions Associated with Airway Secretion Clearance Needs

Presence of these conditions may suggest the patient could benefit from airway clearance therapy:

  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Cerebral Palsy (CP)
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
  • Cervical Spinal Injury
  • Disorders of the Diaphragm
  • Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Here are some questions to help start the conversation about Airway Clearance Therapy and Vest Therapy:

  1. Have you prescribed vest therapy for patients needing airway clearance therapy?
  2. Do my symptoms suggest that I could benefit from airway clearance therapy?
  3. Which airway clearance therapy best suits my condition?
  4. What results can be expected with vest therapy?