A cough assist is an important medical device used to remove secretions from the lungs and facilitate breathing. There are many benefits to secretion management with a cough assistant. In this blog article, we will take a closer look at the benefits of secretion management with a cough assist device and explain how they can improve lung function and improve the quality of life for those with the condition. We will also look at how a cough assist can be integrated into respiratory therapy and the factors to consider when selecting a cough assist.
How a cough assist in secretion management works
Mechanical insufflators-exsufflators, also known as PEP therapy devices, are a type of cough assistant powered by an electric motor. They work by applying positive pressure to the lungs during inspiration to expand them and loosen secretions. This is followed by a rapid pressure change to negative pressure, which sucks the secretions out of the lungs. This process simulates the natural coughing motion and helps to remove the secretions from the lungs.
Some PEP therapy devices use oscillation technology, which introduces small, rapid pressure changes into the airflow in addition to positive and negative pressure. This creates a kind of vibration and can help loosen secretions even more and remove them from the lungs more easily.
Advantages of secretion management with a cough assist
Supplementing and supporting secretion management with a cough assist can have many advantages. It is important that the indication and the patient's constitution are taken into account.
Improving lung capacity: When secretions remain in the lungs, it can affect lung capacity and make breathing difficult. With a cough assist, the secretion can be removed more quickly and effectively, leading to an improvement in lung capacity.
Ease of breathing: The buildup of secretions in the lungs can make breathing difficult. A cough assist can help remove secretions from the lungs, making it easier to breathe.
Reducing the risk of pneumonia and other complications: When secretions remain in the lungs, it can increase the risk of pneumonia and other complications. A cough assist device can reduce the risk of complications by removing secretions more quickly and effectively.
Increasing the quality of life: When breathing becomes difficult, it can affect quality of life. A cough assist can help to make breathing easier and thus improve the quality of life.
Cough assists and neuromuscular diseases
A particularly common indication for the use of a cough assist device is people with neuromuscular diseases. Patients with neuromuscular diseases such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) or cystic fibrosis often suffer from breathing problems due to accumulated secretions in the lungs. Cough assists can be a valuable support in these cases by removing the secretions from the lungs and making breathing easier. Above all, however, the reduction in the risk of infection due to secretions deposited in the lungs represents an important factor on the basis of which therapy with cough assists may be useful.
With regard to the treatment of neuromuscular diseases, cough assists can be well integrated into treatment at any time by using them in combination with other therapies such as breathing exercises, physiotherapy and medication. Careful monitoring by a physician and/or physical therapist is required to ensure that therapy is safe and effective.
How to choose the right cough assist
Choosing the right cough assist device can be important for patients with lung disease or neuromuscular disease. There are different types of cough assistants on the market to suit different needs. To select the right cough assistant, there are several factors that should be considered.
Transportability of the device
If the patient is still mobile and would like to be able to perform his therapy on the move, the size and weight of the therapy device play a major role. The devices on the market sometimes differ greatly in their transportability. In addition to the external dimensions, battery operation should also be possible.
Type of disease
Not all diseases should be treated with a cough assistant. Due to the high pressures during therapy, it may even be a contraindication depending on the disease.
Operation of the device
User-friendliness does not only play a role with the smartphone. A cough assist is usually used several times a day. Therefore, the operation should also be simple and intuitive.
A so-called "Auto Mode" in particular can make daily life easier. Auto mode is set by a doctor or physiotherapist and saved as a therapy profile in the device. At home, all you have to do is press the start button and the rest happens all by itself.
Summary of the advantages of a cough assistant for secretion management
Cough assists can be a valuable support in the treatment of lung diseases and neuromuscular diseases. They help remove secretions from the lungs and facilitate breathing. There are several types of cough assistants on the market to suit different needs. It is important to consult with your doctor to select the right cough assistant and incorporate it into your treatment.
For patients and family members who want to learn more about cough assistants and secretion management, there are numerous resources such as medical journals, online forums, and patient organizations. It is important to feel well informed and discuss any questions with your doctor or therapist to ensure that therapy is safe and effective.