Alayne Ronnenberg, ScD
In addition to medicines and surgery, other treatments are often used to help relieve some of the symptoms associated with COPD. These treatments help reduce phlegm and other pulmonary secretions. Reducing these makes breathing easier.
This procedure is designed to help remove secretions from the airways. You are instructed to lie in various positions. The different positions allow gravity to drain fluids from different parts of your lungs. This may be done after inhaling an aerosol that loosens secretions.
In this procedure, a respiratory therapist lightly claps the chest and back. This helps to dislodge large amounts of secretions and makes them easier to cough up and spit out.
While this may be used, the evidence supporting the effectiveness of postural drainage or chest percussion is weak
About COPD. American Lung Association website. Available at:
http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/copd/about-copd. Accessed October 1, 2012.
COPD. American Association of Respiratory Care
website. Available at:
http://www.yourlunghealth.org/lung_disease/copd/index.cfm. Accessed October 1, 2012.
COPD. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated September 25, 2012. Accessed October 1, 2012.
What is COPD? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) website. Available at:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd. Accessed October 1, 2012.
What you can do about a lung disease called COPD. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease website. Available at:
http://www.goldcopd.org/uploads/users/files/GOLD_Patient_RevJan10.pdf. Accessed October 1, 2012.
Last reviewed March 2015 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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