New Airway Clearance Devices on Exhibit

Notes on an exhibit at the Annual CFRI Conference

Fall 1996

Throughout the 1996 CFRI Conference, sponsors demonstrated two new airway clearance devices that have proven to be most effective in the treatment of cystic fibrosis lung disease while enhancing independent lifestyles and improving compliance. Both devices have shown improved mucus clearance, a reduction in health care costs, and a major lifestyle enhancement for patients with cystic fibrosis.

The ThAIRapy Vest, a unique airway clearance system from American Biosystems, utilizes a technology called high-frequency chest wall oscillation that enhances the mobilization of mucus. High-frequency compression pulses are applied to the chest wall using an air-pulse generator and inflatable vest. These pulses vibrate the chest and airways, loosening the sticky secretions, which can then be effectively cleared from the lungs.

The Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilation (IPV) device is a pressurized aerosol machine that delivers aerosolized medications through a mouthpiece under pressure (like PEP) and with oscillations that vibrate the chest and loosen airway secretions. The IPV device forces an aerosolized mist of medicine throughout the lungs, including the small airways. Because this is the only device that keeps the airways open even while the patient exhales, secretions move much more easily, causing mucus to clear from the lungs very effectively.

Many health insurance and state aid programs are paying for the rental or purchase of these pulmonary clearance devices. Perhaps your insurance provider can afford you the opportunity to test these exciting new devices.

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