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Positive Expiratory Pressure Therapy (PEP)

Posted by Administrator on 12/31/2014
Patients with chronic lung conditions often have blockages from mucus and other pulmonary secretions that inhibit alveoli functioning and trap air. This blockage can have a negative effect on lung function, nutrient exchange, and cause a decrease in functioning or even system failure. Positive Expiratory Pressure Therapy (PEP) is a technique employed to break-up mucus allowing individuals to expel these secretions. 

Often the case with conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis and Muscular Dystrophy, weakening of the muscles inhibits the normal processes that expel pulmonary secretions. These persons, as well as the elderly and those affected by COPD, are at a high risk of blockages, pneumonia, and even death. PEP Therapy helps to create vibrations on exhalation that aid in driving out trapped air and mucus. 

Positive Expiratory Pressure Therapy uses the application of intermittent pressure on exhalation to create vibration. There are devices that create this effect known as a flutter valve, and the Acapella PEP Therapy Device. These devices use a rocker to create the intermittent pressure forcing the alveoli to vibrate. As the vibration occurs, mucus is dislodged from the alveoli and trapped air can be expelled. These secretions can then be coughed, drained, or suctioned out of the patient's airways.