Alayne Ronnenberg, ScD
In addition to medications 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
COPD. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 20, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2014.
How is COPD treated? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd/treatment. Updated July 23, 2013. Accessed February 24, 2014.
Learn about COPD. American Lung Association website. Available at:
http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/copd/learn-about-copd. Updated July 31, 2013. Accessed February 24, 2014.
Managing your COPD medications. American Lung Association website. Available at:
http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/copd/diagnosing-and-treating/managing-your-copd-medications.html. Accessed February 24, 2014.
Last reviewed March 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
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