The importance of a good respiratory routine cannot be overemphasized. If you have a child with a respiratory condition, neuromuscular condition or metabolic disorder, you will find developing and implementing a daily respiratory routine will prevent your child from possible illness and shorten the days they are sick. It will strengthen the lungs and help your child keep their lungs and airways in the best possible shape. When your child is sick, having a respiratory routine will help prevent pneumonia from setting in. It will also improve the overall health of your child.
The basis of any respiratory plan is to help keep the airways free of secretions and inflammation. Your pulmonologist or respiratory therapist can show you how to do chest PT or percussion exercises to get mucus and other secretions moving. Exercises that help your child to cough effectively, and enhance inspiration and expiration can be learned. Your child may be able to learn these techniques themselves or your respiratory therapist may be able to show you how to perform these treatments. Devices like an Acapella flutter device may help your child. It uses vibrations in the airway and positive expiratory pressure (PEP) to help rid the mucus. There is also various PEP therapies and devices that can help.
Sometimes exercises are not sufficient to clear the airways, or cannot be performed for various reasons. A High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation (HFCWO) vest can be used. This vest is inflated and deflated rapidly to loosen secretions and produce coughs. Your child may also use an Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilation (IPV) device with a mask. It uses short bursts of air to oscillate the airways and cause secretions to move. RSVP Home Care can help you file insurance claims to show the necessity of either the IPV or HFCWO vest if they are necessary.
Your child may not be able to cough adequately despite having respiratory exercises and devices to clear the airways. You may need a Cough Assist Device often called an Insufflator-Exsufflator. They simulate a cough with bursts of positive and negative pressure in the lungs. These devices can be uncomfortable and take some getting used to.
For certain children, special medications can be placed in their nebulizer that assists in removing secretions. They work by thinning the mucus so that coughs are more productive. Children with chronic lung infections may also benefit from nebulized antibiotics.
There are many medications that may be used to help keep your child’s lungs clear and their airways open. There are certain inhalers and medications that can be administered through the nebulizer. Children with asthma may need both preventative and rescue medications. In extreme cases, steroids are used to help a child breathe better and reduce inflammation. If your child suffers from allergies, they may also benefit from allergy medications.
Your pulmonologist and respiratory therapist can work with you to develop a good respiratory routine. You should use this routine everyday. This helps you and your child become familiar with the routine and it also will keep your child’s lungs and airways in the best possible condition. When your child is sick, you will want to increase the routine in both frequency and duration. Your pulmonologist and respiratory therapist can help you determine what regimen is needed.
You will notice your child’s overall health improving as you begin to practice your respiratory routine. You will also find that you don’t need as many medications and that hospital stays are shorter and the times between hospital stays are longer. Your child will have fewer complications and pneumonias too. If you have questions about the importance of a good respiratory routine or you would like to discuss developing a routine, call RSVP Home Care today and a respiratory therapist is available to answer your questions.