Bronchiectasis: Bronchiectasis: I have... - British Lung Foun...

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Bronchiectasis: I have Emphysema and on oxygen 24hrs a day. However, my friend is quite poorly with Bronchiectasis and is now waiting to be referrred to physiotherapy. They have told her it's about a 2 month waiting list. (St Woolos Hospital, Newport Gwent). I have fantastic treatment in the same chest clinic and a nurse calling in weekly at home but my friend has to wait. In the meanwhile she can't get the muck off her chest. I think I heard about some exercise bending over the back of a chair? Any way, after my rambling on, all I would like to know is does anyone know of a sheet of exercises I can download for her to tide her over 'til she gets to Physio? Anyone please?

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The same with me. I have bronch. and get breathless very quickly. I have an assessment for PR in July, and cannot wait. I, too, would be interested in any answers. Thanks.

Hi annieseed, nice of you to reply. I've been trawling the internet but there's not much about the exercises. I had not heard of Bronchiectasis before my friend was diagnosed. She has read somewhere about a 'machine' to help her but she can't remember where or what. Well it will be interesting if we reply to you and you reply to us when you have both had your first session. We may well get some more insight through these pages - they are very useful. Until you do, take care of yourself. Again, thanks for replying.

Need To Ask BLF .... Can Do More Harm If You Get It Wrong

I Have Been Having Trouble Getting Gunk Up To .... A Did Hear You Can Pat Her Back To Help Clear But Huff Puff Breathing Exercise You Need Expert To Show You

Hope That All The Best :)

Thank you for the comment dazisnotsogood. As I say, this is completety new to me. I wish my friend didn't have to wait so long for an appointment. Her life is a bit miserable at the moment. With my Emphysema it's more common I expect so there are lots of helpful comments/sites. We'll see what other comments come in to help us expand our knowledge on this.

Hi Gucci

Firstly sorry you have emphysema and sorry too your friend has bronchiectasis, but one thing she is lucky to have is a wonderful caring friend in you.

I have had bronchiectasis since babyhood hun and have always used the postural draining with percussion method, along with a few gadgets. I have found quite a few links, mainly on cystic fibrosis sites re postural draining and percussion, but as I don't feel it would be helpful to overload your friend before she has seen a physio.

I feel 2 months in unaceptable. I am pleased you are getting good service from your hospital, but bronchiectasisis notoriously underfunded. The cystic fibrosis consultants tell me they are working so hard to improve the funding for bronch from none to bring it in line with cf, as in lung terms it is the same thing, without obviously taking money away from cfers - nobody would want that.

Your friend needs a good respiratory consultant, preferably with a special interest in cf/bronchiectasis.

Sorry hun I digress - lets see if there is a way to help her before her appointment. It is great that both you and she know how important it is to get rid of the gunk and are actively seeking out ways to do so.

Whilst she will need to be shown pd with percussion, it would not harm and may hIelp in the meantime to pile up a few pillows on the bed. She should lay over them hips at the top of the pillows and head tipped down on the bed. That gives her the gravity. (should only be done if she has no other known health issues). She need to drain on either side for 15 minutes or longer if nec. She should not do this directly after a meal or if she has reflux. If she wishes to do a little percussion, then she would not use a flat hand. Her hands should be cupped and floppy - the idea being to trap the air which in turn is supposed to dislodge the gunk. If she has a bronchodilator it would be helpful to use it about 15 minutes before commencing.

A useful gadget which she can get from the GP on prescription is the Flutter, which I expect you have heard of. This is supposed to do a similar thing as pd. The only drawback with the flutter is it can only be used with the person upright and so you can't use it in conjuction with pd, but still worth getting one from the doc as a stand alone gadget. Another PEP gadget is the acapella. This can be used whilst you are on a tilt and therefore very useful in conjunction with pd. You can also alter the resistance. I would hold back on that one though until your friend has seen the physio, as she may even be given one and they cost about £50. The one they advise at my hospital is the acapella choice, but hang fire and give the flutter a go.

There is a site specifically for non cf bronchiectatics called Bronchiectasis R Us and they are a very knowledgeable, friendly bunch.

Hope that will help your friend a little whilst she is waiting for the professionals. She would be most welcome here. Any questions feel free to ask away - it's a lot to get your head around.

With love


peege profile image
peege in reply to cofdrop-UK

Thank you cofdrop, it's really kind of you to post all that information - for others too, I shall try to remember that exercise for next time I get the dreaded too.


Thank you cofdrop for all your kindly words and help. I will copy this for my friend. She doesn't have a computer and she is in her late 70's. She is very timid with the Doctors and I feel that she gets put a side a little bit. She will be grateful for this information. Thank you.

You're both most welcome. Shame your friend is timid around doctors - one thing you learn with bronch is you sometimes have to be your own advocate. Please don't hesitate to post any queries you have. If we can't help BLF will be able to. I am more than happy for you to pm me if you wish.

Please let us know how your friend gets on and take care of yourself too.

Love cx

Thank you for the support. Will be in touch. xx

Hi again Gucci

Just thought your friend may find the active cycle of breathing useful as she can do it watching the telly even!


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