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Pulmonary toilet Definition, Therapy, Procedure, Techniques


Pulmonary hygiene is also known as Broncho pulmonary hygiene. It is a set of methods which are used to clean different secretions or mucous from the pulmonary airways. Pulmonary means lungs and toilet means toillete a French word regarding body care and hygiene. Cleanliness of pulmonary airways leads to respiratory health or pulmonary hygiene. Normally, pulmonary airway is cleared via two mechanisms. 1st one is the mucocilliary clearance system and 2nd one is the ability to cough.

If mucocilliary clearance system is impaired, it will lead to poor functioning of lungs along with many diseases and various disabilities. With the help of pulmonary hygiene, many diseases can be prevented like atelectasis (collapse of the alveoli present in the lungs). Excessive secretions can be discarded with pulmonary toilet which is the main cause behind various respiratory infections. Other benefits of pulmonary hygiene are: pulmonary shunting may be decreased and there may increase in functional reserve capacity of lungs. It also helps in preventing respiratory infections normally occurs after chest trauma. Methods of pulmonary toilet include suction technique to remove mucous and excessive secretions and patient is helped to lie in a position in which fluids drain by gravity.

Pulmonary toilet Definition, Therapy, Procedure, Techniques

Pulmonary toilet Techniques

As pulmonary toilet is the set of methods use to drain secretions from lungs and these methods involve deep breathing, incentive spirometry, postural drainage and percussion. Bronchoscopy is a technique in which a long tube is inserted into the airway to view inside lungs and can be a part of pulmonary hygiene. Coughing also helps in initiation of drainage of mucous and secretions. Patient during pulmonary hygiene is not completely sedated so that coughing do not stop. Tracheotomy is another technique helping in pulmonary toilet. In percussion, mucous is loosen and cilia are stimulated to drain mucous.

Pulmonary toilet Therapy

In various lung diseases, pulmonary toilet is performed as a chest physiotherapy. Though physiotherapy is reported with no much efficacy. Chest physiotherapy is important in bronchiectasis and lung abscess. Patient is helped to position in a way that trachea is inclined downward and lie below the chest area which is infected. Postural drainage is considered important and essential in bronchiectasis. Physiotherapy should be received by patient to learn about the position in which draining lobe will be at uppermost position. It should be perform 3 times a day for about 30 minutes in each session.

Pulmonary toilet Procedure

As there are different methods or techniques performed for clearing pulmonary mucous and secretions. So, every method or technique have different procedure. In bronchoscopy, a long tube is inserted inside the pulmonary airway to have inside view. Bronchoscopy helps in performing pulmonary toilet. Patient is not overdosed with sedatives to keep patient coughing as coughing stimulates mucous or excessive secretions. In percussion, secretions are loosened by clapping on backside with cupped hand and cilia are simulated to drain secretions. Positioning is also a technique which is important in draining secretions from pulmonary airways with the effect of gravitational pull.

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