British Lung Foundation

Ineffective cough with bronchiectasis

Mum is living with bronchiectasis but has a very poor cough mechanism due to damage sustained through radiotherapy.

Does anyone use any equipment/gadgets that can help bring up mucous from chest?

She's getting more chest infections of late.

We're doing daily physio, nebs, suction but it's still not doing the job completely.

Any advice greatly received🙏🏼

17 Replies
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Google The 'Vest' airways clearance system - this could probably help your mum. I tried to copy the link for you but my skills in that area are non-existent on my tablet.

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Please ask your GP about a flutter device, to looks simple but very effective in getting mucus up.

Or as for app ith chest physio as she prescribed mine, and may suggest other methods.

Good luck

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How about the flutterball, aquapella breathing exercise. I know it is difficult so best of luck.

Dan

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Drink lots of water .

Mucinex- Mucinex Chest Congestion Tablets - thins out mucus

AFLO VEST - battery operated....your able to move around with vest on

Acapella Vibratory PEP Mucus Clearance Device by Smiths Medical

Aerobika OPEP Therapy System

Below you need a 50psi oxygen to work . This is used in hospitals.

If hospitalized; hill-rom.com/international/... a

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Hi kimmy I was very interested to read your post, what age and mobility condition is your mum in, and where and when did she have radiotherapy, the cough reflex was damaged how was this diagnosed? Xxthanks carol

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Hi Carol,

My mum has a very long medical history which was all triggered by her being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer to the base of tongue and salivary glands. No history of smoking, excessive drinking etc. Just a complete random diagnosis of the most awful disease.

She had extensive surgery to remove cancer and very invasive radiotherapy- to which she had a nasty reaction. The ongoing damaging effects have left mum unable to swallow and therefore has been peg fed for over ten years.

She has been through hell and back God bless her.

All of this has rendered her cough pretty useless. It's like the whole mechanism has been damaged throughout the process of cancer treatment.

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Hi kimmy, wow your poor mum indeed god bless her, 5 years ago I had radiotherapy to my right lung following suspected cancer but it was given to the wrong area of the lung so consequently I had to have it done again once the second area was proven cancer and since then all sorts of things have gone wrong esophogus problems but my cough reflex seems to have gone which causes probs as you say with getting rid of the rubbish, have no respitory health professionals offered any advice , I use the acapela device which would be easier than the flutter for your mum I would imagine you poor girl having to watch your mum suffer in this way..,, hope you get help soon carol xx

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I find the aerobica amazing, as well as huffing and coughing it out....

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Thanks Megan, will check it out 👍🏼

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Aerobika is very effective. It is also very easy to use for all ages , and can be used while reading or watching television, for example. Best Wishes, judg69

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I'm going to google it, thanks for the response 🙏🏼

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Hello Kimmyb-83, I also live with bronchiectusis and I know how hard it is to cough up, being it's a sticky fluid. My doctor put me on Carbasistene tablets which I take three times daily and for me they work really well at keeping your chest clear. I still use my nebuliser and other meds for other health problems. I hope your mother gets the help she needs and starts to feel better soon. Please let us know how she gets on ? 😊🤞

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It's such an awful condition 😔 but it is reassuring to hear people are managing to live well with it.

Mum has carbocistene in liquid as she's peg fed. This seems to work to a degree, but it's just not stopping her getting chest infections. If she gets an exacerbation , her chest is literally rattling. It's a daily battle of physio and meds to help her get the muck up.

She's finding she still feels short of breath, even when her sats are 97/98 (on oxygen).

She just feels really fed up, she's trapped in her body as its stopping her from doing what she wants to do. She has barely left the house in over four months. Didn't even manage to go to any shops over Xmas.

She was so active before, I wish I had a magic wand😔

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Hello kummyb_83

I'm foxy79 I have copd respiratory type 2 asthma broncechtisis emphysema I'm on oxygen nebulizer and bipeb machine and colomicine via nublizer just advice talk with your consultant about mucus have you tried muococlear there's 3% and 6% percent and there's other meds I take to help me clear my mucus can say it's cleared I only get it some mucus only when I get chest infection which was over 16months ago everyday with lots of tablets and

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Hi Foxy79, thanks for the response.

She's never tried muococlear, but will look it up.

She seems to be getting chest infection every few months now. You are doing really well to have kept them clear for over 16 mnths. She also takes colomycin daily. It's kept pseudomonas at bay thank goodness. That's how this all started in the first place. She contracted it in hospital and ended up with bronchiectasis as a result. 👎🏼

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Hi kummyb_83

Thanks for replying can you tell me bit about colomicine please I have just started takeing it been 3weeks does it help and the side effects how you find it if it's OK with you please

And muococlear is very good to clear up and bring mucus like watery to bring it out I'm surprised you never been given it if there's anything else please let me know thanks again

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Mum has been on colomycin for a while now. No apparent side effects, she tolerates it really well. Just a potch doing it every day, but worth it if it keeps serious bugs at bay.

Thanks for the info about muococlear, will ask consultant about it👍🏼

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