Smart Vest?

Hi, I'm from the U.S. I've been reading posts on here for a bit and it's been helpful. It also makes me feel a comaraderie, as I don't know anyone well who has a chronic lung condition. My doc has prescribed a percussion vest that I really feel will help me. I know our healthcare system differs from yours, but I will have to pay about $4500 when all of the deductibles and co-pays are finished. Does anyone have one of these vests and is it worth the cost?

I have ABPA and I'm 61. I was a triathlete and lifelong cyclist before this hit me about 7 yrs ago.

8 Replies

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  • Hi corkey and welcome have you tried to google these vests I'm not sure we have them in England if they are expensive its unlikely they will be available on the NHS

  • There was a post on here about this a few months ago ,,, here is the link

    healthunlocked.com/blf/post...

  • Might be as well finding cystic foundation trust or group in your area as they might know cheaper suppliers or loan ones.

    cff.org/Life-With-CF/Treatm...

    A loved one or family member could do airway clearances percussion

  • To be honest there are lots of other ways to clear mucus from your chest and I would look into these first before splashing out a lot of money on this vest. As far as I know no one in the UK has been prescribed one. I have never heard of them until now.

    Have you tried other devices first ie a flutter device? Or an aerosure machine? You can also take meds which help to bring mucus up. These are much cheaper and might help just or nearly as much. x

  • I have used a Smart Vest for about a year (I live in Colorado). I also use nebulized medication and inhalers, Aerobika and oxygen, so a lot of treatment, and it takes a lot of time. The Smart Vest itself is 30 minutes 2x day, and I have permission to do the aerobika and nebulizer at the same time as the vest, though I usually don't. I believe this protocol mirrors CF treatment in many ways, and that seems to be the way my research hospital is going. If you are likely to be able to comply with the time needed for the Smart Vest, and if you can finance it without undue hardship, I would highly recommend it. It is guaranteed for life and the company is very responsive and pleasant to work with. It definitely does more for me than the Aerobika alone. Best regards, Nancy

  • Thank you everyone for your replies. I'm still trying to get a grip on this diagnosis, I only found out in September.

    Nancy, I think you're right. CF patients use these vests as part of their treatment. I'm still researching and I will talk to my insurance company to make sure my figures are accurate. It's a tremendous amount of money, but I'm only 61, I hope to get alot of use out if it! After I found out that the full price of these units is almost $16,000, I about fell on the floor.

  • I also live in the states. I got a percussion vest about 10 yrs ago from Hill-Rom. I also had to pay a deductible (was working at the time and it was thru my employer's insurance), but I don't think it was that high.

    I use it when ever I use my nebulizer. Then if necessary, use my flutter valve after. I think the vest helps loosen the mucus. Because of the size and weight of the machine (25lbs and about the size of a small suitcase), I don't travel with it, unless we travel by car. I always take my flutter valve when we travel.

    Buying it from Hill-Rom, it's a life time guarantee. I have had the vest replaced twice and the machine once. The new vest was shipped to me. The new machine was shipped and I was to place the old machine in the packaging that the new machine came in and place it at the front door several days later. UPS picked it up. There was no cost to me what so ever.

    Also, when you get your machine the first time, some one comes to your house to show how to use it. Very helpful.

    I'm 67,

    Beth

  • Beth, thanks for sharing your experience. That's exactly what I was looking for, people who have one and if they think it helps. The info will help me decide.

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