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Bull N Y Acad Med. 1992 Mar-Apr;68(2):321-40.

Mechanical exsufflation, noninvasive ventilation, and new strategies for pulmonary rehabilitation and sleep disordered breathing.

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New Jersey Medical School-UMDNJ, Newark.


Manual and mechanical exsufflation are important but underutilized ways to clear airway secretions. These methods are especially useful when used in concert with noninvasive intermittent positive airway pressure ventilatory assistance to facilitate extubation and ventilator weaning. This can be used as much as 24 hours a day as an alternative to tracheostomy ventilation or body ventilator use for patients with paralytic restrictive ventilatory insufficiency. These techniques expedite community management of ventilator assisted individuals by avoiding tracheostomy and need for invasive suctioning and ongoing wound care. For these techniques to be effective and to prevent further suppression of ventilatory drive, supplemental oxygen administration must be avoided unless pO2 is less than 60 mm Hg despite normalization of pCO2. Custom molded interfaces for the delivery of noninvasive intermittent positive airway pressure ventilatory assistance can also be used to facilitate the delivery of variable inspiratory expiratory positive airway pressure for patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Noninvasive intermittent positive airway pressure ventilatory assistance or body ventilator use can rest the respiratory muscles of patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This and pulmonary rehabilitation programs geared to exercise reconditioning are therapeutic options that significantly improve the quality of life of these patients. For both paralytic restrictive and obstructive pulmonary patients, these techniques decrease cost and frequency of hospitalizations.

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