Airway Clearance Therapy
Is it Right for You?
Airway Clearance Therapy (ACT) is considered a cornerstone therapy for respiratory diseases
There are a number of lung diseases that impair ciliary function, increase mucus production and interfere with the ability to cough that can benefit from Airway Clearance Therapy. Mucus that is stagnant accumulates and obstructs airways, is a conduit for bacterial colonization, evokes inflammatory response, and contributes to airway damage. Airway obstruction and damage to the airways may result from recurring mucus build up, infection, and inflammation, also know as the vicious cycle of bronchiectasis.
Airway clearance therapy utilizes physical or mechanical means of percussion and vibration to mobilize mucus and phlegm to facilitate airway clearing by coughing. Breathing techniques, gravity assisted postural drainage, manual chest physical therapy and mechanical oscillation devices can be used to produce a cough or cough-like effect. Early diagnosis and implementation of airway clearance can reduce morbidity and mortality.1
Due to the range of techniques it is important to personalize airway clearance therapy for everyday living with the aim of providing the best health and therapy adherence.
1.Volsko, T. Airway Clearance Therapy: Finding the Evidence. Respiratory Care. October 2013.
Airway Clearance Therapy Techniques
High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation
High frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO), also referred to as vest therapy, is a highly recommended and effective form of Airway Clearance Therapy. A recent study conducted showed that HFCWO vest therapy produced an improvement in lung function, quality of life, and reduction of symptoms compared to traditional chest physiotherapy (CPT). 2
Why Choose AffloVest HFCWO?
With a large prevalence of respiratory related health problems and numerous Medicare-approved diagnoses, there is an opportunity to promote bronchial hygiene for at-risk pulmonary patients by utilizing HFCWO airway clearance therapy for better overall pulmonary health. AffloVest mobile, during use, mechanical HFCWO therapy provides appropriate bronchial hygiene which can help reduce mucus and mucus plugging and may improve O₂/CO₂ gas exchange.
Manual chest physiotherapy cannot be performed independently and involves utilizing a caregiver or respiratory therapist to perform the percussing and clapping. The effectiveness of manual CPT is largely dependent upon the caregiver’s knowledge and use of proper technique. In contrast, HFCWO:
- Does not require any special positioning or breathing techniques
- Can be used independently by most patients, without assistance from a caregiver
- Technology is independent of patient or caregiver knowledge or technique
2. Nicolini, A. et al., Effectiveness of treatment with high-frequency chest wall oscillation in patients with bronchiectasis. BMC Pulmonary Medicine. 2013;13:21.
AffloVest – The New Gold Standard
The introduction of the AffloVest in 2013 revolutionized the High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation market by bringing a proven treatment to patients and allowing for mobility during use. The ability for treatment during everyday activities has allowed patients to conduct their therapy while on the go which may led to better, overall patient adherence.
Traditional compression vest systems are comprised of an air-pulse generator and an inflatable vest that is connected by tubes, which leaves patients tethered to a wall during treatment. Once the patient puts the vest on and turns on the generator, each squeeze of the vest provides pressured air pulses to oscillate the chest wall and produce a cough.
AffloVest provides patient-specific therapy with 8 anatomically positioned oscillating motors to create individual pressure waveforms to target all lobes of the lungs, posteriorly and anteriorly, to loosen, thin and mobilize lung secretions. It is designed to mimic the gold standard CPT.
The battery-powered AffloVest is designed to increase therapy adherence through mobility. The ability to do airway clearance therapy on the go while performing normal, daily activities can provide more consistent therapy compliance and an improved quality of life.
To learn more about diseases that benefit from airway clearance therapy, click here.