Many people with cystic fibrosis (CF) and other medical conditions use high-frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) vests, otherwise known as airway clearance systems, as part of their daily airway clearance routine.
How Do HFCWO Vests Work?
The goals of HFCWO treatment are the same as with any other airway clearance technique – to break up mucus and help bring it to the upper airways, where it can be coughed out or removed by suction.
The machine connected to the vest is an air compressor that delivers bursts of air to rapidly inflate and deflate the vest.
This creates gentle pressure and vibration on the chest, which does three things:
1.Breaks up mucus, making it thinner
2.Creates “mini-coughs” in the lungs, which help push the mucus out
3.Makes the cilia move faster, helping them carry the loosened mucus to the upper airways
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