Airway Clearance Therapies (ACTs)

Airway Clearance Therapies (ACTs) are recommended by clinicians to help patients:

  • Clear Sputum
  • Maintain Lung Function
  • Improve quality of life

There are many acceptable methods of airway clearance. It’s important that you find the one that works best for you. Explore the links below to learn more about each of the different Airway Clearance Therapy (ACT) options.

Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP)

Handheld device that allows you to breathe in freely but creates resistance when you breathe out.
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Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure (OPEP)

Hand‐held device that allows you to breathe in freely, but creates vibration and resistance when you breathe out.
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High-Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation Vest (Mobile)

Portable vest device that vibrates against the chest wall to loosen mucus so it can be coughed up more easily.
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High-Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation Vest (Stationary)

Vest device that plugs into an electric outlet and uses an air compressor and hoses to help clear the airways.
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Huff Coughing

Huff coughing, also known as huffing, is a technique that helps move mucus from the lungs.
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Percussion (Clapping) & Postural Drainage

Percussion (Clapping) & Postural Drainage, also known as chest physical therapy (CPT), is a way to help people with respiratory issues breathe with less difficulty and stay healthy.
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Airway Clearance Breathing Techniques (ACBTs)

Active cycle of breathing technique (ACBT) combines different breathing techniques that help clear mucus from the lungs in three phases.
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Autogenic Drainage (AD)

Autogenic Drainage (AD) means “self-drainage” and is an airway clearance technique which uses controlled breathing at different lung volumes to loosen, mobilize and move secretions in three stages towards the larger central airways.
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Chest Physical Therapy (CPT)

Uses percussion (clapping) and gravity (postural drainage/positioning) along with other techniques such as huff coughing to loosen and drain mucus from the lungs.
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Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilation (IPV)

Intrapulmonary percussive ventilation (IPV) is a form of chest physical therapy administered to the airways by a pneumatic device.
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