View Full Version : Other Airway Clearance Techniques besides the Vest or actual CPT (Clapping)

03-04-2015, 11:21 AM
Does anyone know of any other airway clearance techniques that are effective besides the huge and heavy Vest system and other than having to rely on another person to do chest physical therapy and also other than the Flutter Valve which is dependent on how the person uses it as to whether it is effective or not? I am unsure that the Vibralung is able to be cleaned properly as the instructions say to use Clorox wipes? I know bacteria have been found in baby wipes and cleaning wipes in the past so I am hesitant to look into it further. Those hospital wipes are $100 a container so I really can't afford those. I really wanted something that is small and portable.

03-04-2015, 01:33 PM
Have you looked into a PEP valve/mask? Or Active Cycle Breathing (ACBT)?

My respiratory therapist introduced me to these as alternate therapies usefull for for short duration travel and other occasions where the vest is not practical to drag around. I like to use ABCT when I have minor coughing fits at night or if an inopertune coughing spells pops up at work, church, or other public places. I just step into a corner and breath a few cycles to clear everything out. It allows for a far more controlled and productive 'cough' than just hacking away.

Here is a good link onn ABCT: http://www.cff.org/treatments/Therapies/Respiratory/AirwayClearance/#Active_Cycle_of_Breathing_Technique_%28ACBT%29

03-04-2015, 02:04 PM
Thank you Ethan! I read that link you posted. I do not know about these other therapies (Acapella, Cornet, IPV) or the PEP therapy it talks about using a mask or mouthpiece attached to a resistor set. Do you know what that device would be called? I am unfamiliar with all those. It does not really explain what those are in that link. Sometimes when his bags get checked there is confusion sometimes as to what the Vest machine is. It gets looked over very well, especially when he travels out of the U.S., even though my son has a letter from his doctor for the Vest. I know they would look at another device too but I was really hoping I could find a device that worked real well that is much smaller and compact so it can be carried in his regular bag and he would not have to lug that machine around as a carry-on and get all the attention when it gets checked. He really needs something that works good and is effective. I really appreciate your help and ideas Ethan!

03-04-2015, 02:44 PM
Hi Believing, Traveling with the vest can be so annoying especially when trying to wrangle another suitcase as well. I find for periods of 7 days or less I can get away with using the Acapella (or similar PEP device) along with my hypertonic and it's pretty effective. For me the vest or manual cpt is the best but the Acapella is an acceptable substitute if need be. I did use it for a month long trip once which wasn't ideal airway cleanse wise but SO much better for traveling! I think I was either given one at clinic or prescribed one. Honestly, can't remember. The link I provided says its prescription only but you can buy them online for around $50. it has valves in it and breathing into it feels similar to the flutter but the effectiveness isn't dependednt on the angle you hold it at so that's a plus. I have attached an article (first link) that talks about airway cleanse devices generally but the first part is about PEP devices specifically. as well as two other links that show PEP (positive expiratory pressure) devices I personally have used.

Particle about PEP devices and therapy:

Acapella device: I have the green one.

Thera-Pep: I prefer the Acapella to this device but it works well too.

this version of the Acapella looks cool! It attaches to you nebulizer cup so you can do the therapy while you neb. Looks like you need the specific type off neb cup though.

03-04-2015, 03:14 PM
I've had two PEPs. They are a little too big to fit in a pocket but small enough for a hand-bag or carry-on.

The first I called a PEP valve (seen here: http://www.uwhealthkids.org/cf-center/cystic-fibrosis-cf-treatment-positive-expiratory-pressure-pep/34309).

The second (and one I use currently) I call a PEP Mask (seen here http://pep-rmt.wellspect.co.uk/Main.aspx?Item=202645&navt=116&navl=92452&nava=92481)

I tried air travel with my 105 Hill-Rom vest once, with Dr letter in hand, and still got the look over plus some crusty comments from air stewards about my 'extra' carry-on. But if I ever travel for more than a week, the minor inconvenience/frustration of explaining things to airport people is worth it to me.

Most my trips are shorter than 5 days so I'll just carry my neb pump and Pep Mask. But I still get pulled out of line for further investigation. This has never been more than a 5 minute inconvenience. The nebs, medicines w/ice, and electronics of the pump are strange enough that TSA needs to see it to figure it out.

My best pass through, I pre-declared myself to TSA as having medicines w/ice and pulled my pump and meds (inside a clear baggie) out of my carry-on so that they were identifiable without doing a bag search. That seemed easiest for all involved.

03-04-2015, 06:57 PM
Thank you Jaimers and Ethan! I did not know there were so many choices. I guess I am wondering how these can be sterilized too especially when traveling with a mask and tubes, etc.?? My son has 10 nebulizers and takes what he needs. If he runs out he will set out the nebs he needs in Isopropyl Alcohol in a tub and then rinse with bottled water. I did call my sons clinic but they really just want him to do the Vest as they feel that is the most effective. I figure there has to be another option than that big heavy machine that gains so much attention. If these other options are only about $50 then I might get him one to try. How do you buy online without a prescription? I am not good with the computer and really just know how to google stuff which I only learned not too long ago!:o The accapella and also the mask thing look interesting if they are effective and can be sterilized.??? He already has the Flutter which is really not effective.

03-04-2015, 08:03 PM
My clinic has phased out the Acapella in favor of the Aerobika. Acapellas have a small metal component that rusts really easily, and my clinic and myself didn't like that I was inhaling air that ran over the rusted portion. The Aerobika does a similar treatment to an Acapella, but without the metal rust.

03-04-2015, 09:08 PM
Thank you nmw, I will look into that Aerobika. I saw that but didn't look at it extensively. Is that able to be sterilized and is it pretty effective? Have you noticed it helps and do you use it often?

03-04-2015, 09:17 PM
Your son should meet with his respiratory therapist the next clinic visit and discuss alternatives. If the therapist is intransigent about Vest only, then you need to ask them clinic if they have an alternate therapist that is willing to take quality of life and patient's desires into consideration. Drs are great but sometimes as a patient you need to force the issue that you are an adult and that practical considerations that impact quality of life are important too. Pep might not be as effective as Vest, but it is more effective than nothing. Quality of life, including the ability to hold a job, needs to be considered when you are comparing what is 90% good versus something 100% good.

The therapist should also be able to give the best advice for sanitation of any particular device. Again if they can't/won't do this, ask for someone that is willing/able to perform their job correctly. Some things can be boiled in water in the microwave (I did melt/warp part of the thera-pep in a microwave); bleach and water might be an option; Soap, water, and a good dry can be effective (if things really get dry); dishwasher on sanitize cycle; alcohol; etc.

03-04-2015, 09:27 PM
I agree. I was disappointed that the respiratory therapist did not want to discuss anything other than the vest. She is old and stubborn though (probably like me!). He doesn't go back till the middle of May and I really wanted to help him find something sometime in the very near future. He does need to hold a job as he has accumulated many bills of his own. I know there has to be other options. I am probably going to have to buy one without a prescription though. At his clinic there is only one therapist who has been there forever. She is probably just trying to do her best for my son and I appreciate that as she is good at her job.

03-04-2015, 09:33 PM
Be more stubborn-er (I know you've got it in you). You are the customer, get what you need.

03-04-2015, 09:54 PM
Lol! I'm not sure I'm so much stubborn but I know I get hot-headed. :o

03-05-2015, 09:20 AM
Hey Believing here is a device I found on that same website called the Acapella Choice. It appears to come apart completely so it can be easily sterilized. Says parts are able to be boiled. Does say Rx only so may be worth asking the doc about getting one.

here is another link from National Jewish in Denver about the Acapella choice. They say do not boil it but do provide alternative sterilization methods with either alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

03-05-2015, 10:15 AM
Jaimers thank you so much! That is wonderful! I really wanted something that can either be boiled or disinfected with isopropyl alcohol. I am going to see if my husband can help me to get one of these online without a prescription when he gets off work tonight. I really want something that will be effective but is small and easy to take along. Does the acapella work well for you? My son travels a lot with his work and I would especially like him to have something when he has to go internationally. I appreciate your help so much! I really wish the Vibralung was able to be disinfected better. I saw someone left a message about it but have not read it yet as I saw this one first and this option is so much cheaper too. Does it work well for you?

03-05-2015, 10:39 AM
Jaimers - I forgot - Does your Accapella have a metal ball that nmw talked about? I am going to review the Aerobika and the Accapella with my husband and see if he can help me. Thanks so much!

03-05-2015, 11:06 AM
I don't think anyone has mentioned the pari-pep device yet. It is very small and very lightweight (breaks down even smaller) can be sterilized and can be used in tandem with the Pari LC sprint. It is dishwasher safe and boilable. http://www.pari.com/products/accessories_other/product/detail/info/pari_pep_s.html

If you would like to review a paper that examines the differences in aerosol absorption while using these pep devices while doing treatments (pep device connected to the nebulizer while doing treatments) please click this link:http://rc.rcjournal.com/content/59/2/216.full.pdf+html.

Here is an image that summarizes the results from the latter article:

03-05-2015, 11:08 AM
474 Sorry. I couldn't post with the image. Here is the image I mentioned in my last message.

03-05-2015, 02:36 PM
Thank you Bookworm for all that info! I have never heard of this either. I tried to read the chart you sent. I see with the Accapella Duet and Choice that medicine can be lost when doing it with a neb, right? What about the Pari-Pep? I couldn't understand if that showed it worked well and didn't lose much medicine? My son has the Pari LC but I'm pretty sure it is not the Sprint. I really like that it is dishwasher-safe and boilable. Have you or anyone else tried this? Does it really work well? I sort of feel like he might be skimping on treatments if he didn't take his Vest and used a different treatment instead. I do like the vibration of the Vest, I just wish they had something much smaller and easier to travel with.

03-05-2015, 05:03 PM
You're welcome. The article I attached that it came from does explain that medicine is lost when you use some of these devices and it appears to say that the Pari device does not lose the medicine - although the article is a bit difficult to read. The article says that if you are using a PEP/nebulizer combo to do medicines such as Pulmozyme that this can mean you don't get the right dose as quite a bit of medicine is lost.

In the diagram, you'll see that the delivery of the LCPlus nebulizer is at the same level whether or not the Pari-Pep or Pari-Pep S (a different model) is used. It shows how much is lost (apparently no more than if you used just the nebulizer) at two different resistance settings (the little holes in the device that set the pressure in the Positive expiratory pressure device).

I have used the Pari-Pep and I like it better than the flutter. I can't say that I have used it with my nebulizer, but alone as a Pari-Pep device. I asked a respiratory therapist which device patients preferred and this is what she recommended. If you're travelling and you want a few to sterilize, they are inexpensive enough to get a few. I tend to agree with the other posters here that for a trip of 5 days or so, or even up to a week, a smaller device is nicer to bring. But after that, I'm looking forward to my vest again. When travelling, I do my pari-pep, then do my hypertonic saline. In the evening, I sterilize all the devices and air dry them on paper towels I bring with me. A key part of using Pari-Pep is having the respiratory therapist train you, so you are doing this comfortably, getting as much out as you can, without making yourself uncomfortable. They can also suggest the best resistance setting for you to use on the device and watch your technique.

Another thing I have used from time-to-time, when I don't want to bring a vest, is a massage percussor. I generally throw this in my carry-on, but have sometimes packed it in my luggage (if I've got another device with me). The vibration from the massager does thin the mucous, but you have to be careful when you use it, not to hit bony parts and keep the setting pretty low. There are more professional models specifically for chest diseases ->http://www.protherapysupplies.com/Shop-By-Category/Electrical/G5-Flimm-Fighter-Massage-Percussor and this one which Jerry Cahill also reviews http://www.medsystems.com/professional/cystic-fibrosis-therapy/

This is the one I used until it got fried by a flakey outlet in a place where I was visiting http://www.everydaycomfort.com/homedics-pa-100-therapist-select-percussion-action-massager/ . The benefit of taking an inexpensive device like this was "no worries" if it gets fried or smashed up in your luggage.

Taking a massager of some type and a pari-pep is the option I prefer. Pari-pep works well and if you find yourself longing for your vest, because you can feel something that you can't quite get out, you can use the massager to get at those areas. And I really don't say anything to TSA about the massager. They look at it and go "uh-huh" and put it back in the bag. I do keep my meds in a plastic bag in the bin and the Pari-Pep in my purse.

03-05-2015, 09:11 PM
Bookworm - Wow! That Electro Flo 5000 may be what I am looking for! That looks like it should be pretty effective and would deliver a good "pounding" on the chest. I so appreciate you sending me all this information! I love that it is smaller and has to be much lighter-weight and should be effective to get stuff out. It does look like it may be something the TSA might question but it is so much smaller and less obvious. Maybe with a letter from the doctor it may pass easier than the big heavy Vest. We love the Vest, just wish it was way smaller. I did not see a price. I am going to call the number tomorrow and ask and also ask about insurance. Even though our insurance has changed over the years because one of the insurance companies bought the Vest - mostly - years ago, they won't cover anything else but I understand why with the cost of $16,000 for the Vest. Thank you so much for this information! I very much appreciate it.

03-05-2015, 10:17 PM
You're welcome. I first read about the Electro Flo on this forum, so the credit goes to those who share on this forum.:D

03-06-2015, 01:23 PM
I did call about the Electro Flo 5000. I was told many people with CF do two forms of treatments - usually the Vest and another form - I was told the Electro Flo 5000 is $5,500.00. She said if insurance does not cover it then they charge the patient $2,750 and you can purchase one on a "lease to own" agreement. They would charge $100 a month till it was paid for with no interest and then transfer ownership to the patient. It is 12 inches by 12 inches and 5 inches across and light-weight. I am going to find out from my son what device he thinks he would prefer between this, the pari-pep device, or possibly the Vibralung (if someone can convince me the inside components of it can be sterilized). I appreciate everyone's help immensely! I never would have known about any of these options. Thank you!

03-07-2015, 10:48 AM
My daughter has been using the pari-pep for about a year. It is by far the smallest and simplest of these devices. She even uses it with pulmozyme as well as albuterol and hyper sal because the medicine does not collect in the device. She's young and it doesn't cause her to cough so the benefit of the pep pushing the meds deeper in her lungs has been beneficial. After I read about the Aerobika I just had to have her try it as well. Its bigger but simple to use and sterilize. She only uses albuterol and hyper sal with the aeorobika. We switch it up and use the pari-pep with morning and evening treatments and the aerobika fir afternoon treatments. I see alot of your posts and from one mom to another, what has really helped me stay current on all things cf, is to put cystic fibrosis as a google alert. Then every time cf is mentioned in a publication, clinical trial, press release, etc. Google alerts you via your email and you can read about it! The majority of what I do for my girl has been through my own research. Its a great way to be in the "know". Lots of the time we're a ahead of the clinic.
Good luck!

03-07-2015, 11:25 AM
Thank you Ponytails! I appreciate you letting me know. How is the Aerobika sterilized? Can it be disassembled and boiled or how do you clean it? I forgot about the Aerobika and it definitely is much cheaper which so helps. I'm glad it is working for your daughter. Does she have a Vest system too? The respiratory therapist only likes the Vest.

03-07-2015, 02:23 PM
Hey believing I forgot to take a look at the internal parts of the Acapella to answer your question about it and now am out of town for a week. I can take a look when I get home though if you're still curious :)

03-07-2015, 03:19 PM
Hi believing. The Areobika comes apart into four pieces: the mouthpiece, the top cover, the bottom cover, and the internal piece. I typically sterilize for 30 seconds to a minute in 90% alcohol, rinse with distilled water, and leave it to dry.

03-07-2015, 04:48 PM
Jaimers - I appreciate that you would look into that for me. I forget things all the time so I completely understand. I am going to present a few options to my son but since the Acapella has that little metal piece I think I will concentrate on the Aerobika over the Acapella just because sometimes he will have to soak in alcohol and I know that may not be good for that piece. I really appreciate your help giving me all that information though as it gave me choices I didn't even know were out there. Thank you very much!

nmw: I think the Aerobika looks like it works pretty well for a much cheaper price than the Electro Flo and the Vibralung and seems to be effective and can be sterilized pretty well. I am going to see if my son can ask his RT about this and ask about the other two also and see if they can give a prescription for the Aerobika since it is so cheap anyways. I love that it is small and can be disassembled and works so well. If it doesn't work like he wants it to then we can look into the more expensive choices. Hate to spend money we don't have! I liked the Pari-Pep too but he has 10 pari nebs right now and it looks like it takes a special one to hook up to that so that turns out to be a lot more money. Thank you very much for letting me know!

03-08-2015, 07:59 PM
I narrowed down the choices to really good ones and my son got back from his trip earlier this afternoon and told me there was a message on his phone from the respiratory therapist that said she really did not want him to do any thing other than the Vest. I swear. The nurse already told me that the RT only wanted that and that they would be calling my son to discuss it. I guess that is their discussion. I honestly don't know how I can get an Aerobika now without a prescription. Nothing is easy! Sorry for the negativity.

03-08-2015, 09:23 PM
Does anyone else have this problem at their clinic? I honestly did not know she had that much power until the nurse told me that. I am not too happy. I don't understand especially when the Vest barely makes my son cough up anything.

03-08-2015, 10:53 PM
@beliveing re:intransigent RT: My clinic is attached to a teaching university, and so I get lots of turn over in the nutritionist/social work/pharmacy/nursing specialties. Sometimes these 'kids' need a little bit of discussion on the fact that I'm an adult, I've got 30+ years experience with CF, and I've got my life to live outside of the hospital. Not sure if that would go over so well with more experienced/more stubborn person.

03-09-2015, 12:40 AM
Tell them you want to use it at the same time as the vest. My daughter uses the pep or aerobika along with the vest for each treatment. Tell them u want the best airway clearance possible. Then when he's taking a trip he can just take the aerobika. They don't even use the vest in europe so it certainly isn't the ONLY way. I do like the vest though and both together is awesome!

03-09-2015, 06:15 AM
Ponytails - Actually I really do want my son to have another device even for when he is home. The Vest does not make him cough up anything. Every time I say anything they keep telling me that my son is healthy and I should accept that and not come up with "what ifs". I understand that I worry and need to see the positive side and I thank God all the time for keeping my son healthy and I pray for others I care about who are not as fortunate as he is right now. I don't understand why she would insist so much that my son just have the Vest. He is only on our insurance till the end of the year and I really want to get him something while I know what to expect. I am going to call today. She sort of scares me so I know with my son being so shy that he would have trouble. He never wants to make trouble with anyone and is everything I wish I could be.

03-09-2015, 08:07 AM
Believing, not coughing anything up does not always indicate the Vest isn't working. When I am healthy, I am bone dry. No treatment makes me cough anything up. I can do 10% hypertonic, and still cough nothing up.

Additionally, because your son is an adult, his clinic may not be able to speak with you about this matter. I know my parents cannot get any information from my clinic regarding my care and health.

03-09-2015, 08:23 AM
Thank you nmw - Yes I know that he may not have anything to cough up but being 25 yrs. old with DDF508 I would think there would have to be something. And I do also understand that the clinic may not be able to give me any information but my son has given them permission for me to talk to them about his care and they acknowledge that but I guess they are trying to get him to handle it all. I do understand that too but it is so much and he works full-time and has to take care of himself on top of all that and has his own place and he absolutely does not have the time. He does not have a wife to help him with anything and I am his Mom and am more than willing to assist him in any way I am able to. I also realize I may be extreme but my son has told me many times how he appreciates all I do for him and I really do feel like I am in this with him as I can't make it without him. I appreciate you saying that though as maybe he just doesn't have anything to cough up but I doubt it.

03-09-2015, 09:08 AM
I called but nobody answered so I left a message. My son loves this clinic and so do I so I don't want to make any trouble for sure. We also like the respiratory therapist even though she is stubborn. I know she is only looking out for my son as I only mentioned traveling with it but after talking to the representative for the Electro Flo and her telling me most people use 2 forms of airway clearance, I really just want one in addition even if he has to take both traveling. My son got back yesterday and had to leave early this morning so won't be back till late tonight. I asked that they call him tomorrow again. I hope we can get another one while I know what coverage he has.

03-09-2015, 09:41 AM
Believing, I am also DDF508, like your son. I turn 25 in just a couple months. It really is entirely possible that he doesn't have anything to cough up. This doesn't mean you shouldn't try to get another form of airway clearance, but I'm just saying that he may not have anything to cough up at this point, and pushing the lungs too hard can cause problems.

Melody Chaney
03-13-2015, 10:41 PM
i have posted under "Airway Clearance techniques" a mechanical handheld percusser i'm giving away free. it's supposed to be pediatric, and is supposedly not as effective as the vest, but it is useful for traveling and can be used on adults as well. It's a lot smaller and lighter than the vest and still vibrates the lungs. Also, your son can try exercising for his therapy in order to keep from having to pack extra therapy equipment.

03-14-2015, 06:25 PM
Does anyone know of any other airway clearance techniques that are effective besides the huge and heavy Vest system and other than having to rely on another person to do chest physical therapy and also other than the Flutter Valve which is dependent on how the person uses it as to whether it is effective or not? I am unsure that the Vibralung is able to be cleaned properly as the instructions say to use Clorox wipes? I know bacteria have been found in baby wipes and cleaning wipes in the past so I am hesitant to look into it further. Those hospital wipes are $100 a container so I really can't afford those. I really wanted something that is small and portable.

I just wanted to share that here in Israel the treatment is with the "acapella" and CPT. Really the vest is mostly an American treatment approach. I would definitely put together your research & fight for having a user friendly travel system. The Canadians just came out with a big research paper last year proving the effectiveness of the PEP approach. I just found this discussion you may appreciate http://cysticlife.org/QuestionsProfile.php?id=6901 and this http://www.cfmedicine.com/history/topics/physiotherapy.htm "2013 McIlwaine MP. Alarie N. Davidson GF. Lands LC. Ratjen F. Milner R. Owen B. Agnew JL. Long-term multicentre randomised controlled study of high frequency chest wall oscillation versus positive expiratory pressure mask in cystic fibrosis. Thorax 2013; 68:746-751.[PubMed] (http://pmid.us/23407019)Positive expiratory pressure (PEP) is the most commonly used method of airway clearance (AC) in Canada for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) whereas, in some countries, high frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) is the preferred form of airway clearance. There have been no long-term studies comparing the efficacy of HFCWO and PEP in the CF population. This study was to determine the long-term efficacy of HFCWO compared with PEP mask therapy in the treatment of CF as measured by the number of pulmonary exacerbations (PEs). A randomised controlled study was performed in 12 CF centres in Canada. After a 2-month washout period, subjects were randomised to perform either HFCWO or PEP mask therapy for 1 year.
RESULTS: 107 subjects were enrolled in the study; 51 were randomised to PEP and 56 to HFCWO. There were 19 dropouts within the study period, of which 16 occurred prior to or at the time of randomisation. There were significant differences between the groups in the mean number of PEs (1.14 for PEP vs 2.0 for HFCWO) and time to first PE (220 days for PEP vs 115 days for HFCWO, p=0.02). There was no significant difference in lung function, health-related quality of life scores or patient satisfaction scores between the two groups. PEP mask therapy required a shorter treatment time.
The results of this study favour PEP and do not support the use of HFCWO as the primary form of AC in patients with CF. Apparently the previous study on PEP from Vancouver by Maggie McIlwaine and her colleagues had a major influence on the introduction of the PEP mask into N. America (McIlwaine PM et al. J Pediatr 2001; 138:845-850. " [PubMed] (http://pmid.us/11391327) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11391327?dopt=AbstractPlus).

I just want to add that the Canadians have one of the best median survival rates in the world. They were the first ones to show how important a good BMI is to long term survival & to push a high calorie diet (vs. the low fat diet that was prevalent then)

Good luck!!!

03-21-2015, 12:04 PM
I just wanted to tell everyone "Thank You" for your advice on different airway clearance techniques. I found out yesterday from a lady at our local pharmacy that had been looking into the devices I told her about that we don't need a prescription for the Aerobika. I still want something that is going to be powerful enough for my son when he travels and the Aerobika I was just going to get as an "extra" to the vest. I have asked my son to really talk to his team at his clinic the next time he goes for appt. about the Vibralung and also the Electro Flo 5000. That said, I STILL have not heard back from MMCPECK about the cleaning of the Vibralung even though he promised several weeks ago to address that. Before spending several thousands of dollars that we don't have for either one of those devices I would really like to know. But I wanted to say thank you to everyone. Thank you also Melody Chaney for offering your device but since it is a pediatric one and not really what I was looking for him for traveling we will still try to get one of these other two. Thank you though everyone.

03-21-2015, 01:47 PM
I just wanted to tell everyone "Thank You" for your advice on different airway clearance techniques. I found out yesterday from a lady at our local pharmacy that had been looking into the devices I told her about that we don't need a prescription for the Aerobika. I still want something that is going to be powerful enough for my son when he travels and the Aerobika I was just going to get as an "extra" to the vest. I have asked my son to really talk to his team at his clinic the next time he goes for appt. about the Vibralung and also the Electro Flo 5000. That said, I STILL have not heard back from MMCPECK about the cleaning of the Vibralung even though he promised several weeks ago to address that. Before spending several thousands of dollars that we don't have for either one of those devices I would really like to know. But I wanted to say thank you to everyone. Thank you also Melody Chaney for offering your device but since it is a pediatric one and not really what I was looking for him for traveling we will still try to get one of these other two. Thank you though everyone.

Hi Believing,

I tried the Electro flo 5000 probably about about a year and a half ago. Jane had one on hand that she let me take home for the 3 months between clinic visits to see if I liked it. So I'm guessing she still has it for people to try out! I personally did not like it at all, but that's irrelevant. ;) Also, the AerobiKa and Aeroelipse neb kit can be purchased here, with no Rx necessary as you mentioned:


I ordered the Aerobika and am just waiting for it to arrive... We shall see!!

Take Care,


PS. "Stubborn' is a good word for Jane. :)

03-21-2015, 02:01 PM
Just a word of warning about getting an Electro Flo 5000. When I had asked my doctor for that percussor, I was unable to get that specific brand/model. I don't know how your insurance will be, but the Electro Flo was not covered by ours. I was able to get a percussor, but it's a model they cover. It's quite possible that you'll be able to get a percussor, just maybe not the specific model you ask for.

03-21-2015, 09:01 PM
Thank you Autumn and Nmw for your tips on the Electro Flo. It's good to know you didn't like it Autumn as my son might not either. Idk why Jane insists and I kind of gave up as my son likes her alot too and I don't want to burn any bridges for him. I thought maybe he could bring it up at his next appointment and see if she will change her mind. I remember you used to go there too Autumn ;). Thank you Nmw for the tip on the insurance. My local pharmacy checked with our insurance and they will cover it mostly if we can get it past the doctors office.:confused: Also I am still very interested in the Vibralung but I guess we will never hear from Mmcpeck (I already talked to the rep and he already told me the cleaning and I don't see how this works for people with CF). I thought Mmcpeck could explain but ???? Thanks!

03-22-2015, 08:56 AM
I just purchased two Acapella devices on EBay a few days ago. Both are new, made by Smith's Medical. The blue cost me $20 and the green $27.

On EBay enter in the search box "acapella" and read through the returns.

Best wishes.

03-22-2015, 10:48 PM
In response to some of the discussion, this is just a quick note to let anyone who is interested know that we recently made a programming change to the acoustical patterns of the Vibralung Acoustical Percussor and took that opportunity to update portions of the Vibralung web site that would be impacted by those changes. At the same time, we also updated the 'Cleaning & Care Instructions" page on the site to make the recommendations and methods compatible with the latest CFF guidelines. So, if anyone wants to know how to clean the Vibralung, it is laid out in great detail on the web site (vibralungACT.com (http://westmedinc.com/vibralung/)). (And, like other websites, it is occasionally down for maintenance and updating, in which case one should check back later).

Basically, we have presented cleaning options for both hospital as well as home environments of care. Although the web site information is very comprehensive, I'll briefly summarize it here. The Vibralung Acoustical Percussor consists of two major components: a small, lightweight, portable electronic Treatment Control Unit (TCU) and a Hand-held Transducer (HHT).

The TCU, which does not come into contact with mucus membranes, qualifies for hard-surface disinfection and can be cleaned by wiping with pre-moistened germicidal wipes of the kind commonly used in hospitals and also available commercially under many brand names, as listed on the web page. These contain quaternary ammonium compounds (benzalkonium) that the CFF approves for hard surfaces but not for mucus membranes.

The HHT consists of a hand-held piece and a kit of disposable components (Patient Exchange Kit; cone, Y-piece, PEP resistor, mouthpiece). The hand-held component, which does not come into contact with mucus membranes, can be surface disinfected as above. The patient exchange kit, parts of which do come into contact with mucus membranes, is completely disposable and can be discarded and replaced at appropriate intervals decided by the care team (e.g., daily, weekly). In between uses, it can be wiped down with alcohol swabs as per CFF guidelines and/or cleaned with soap and water plus cold disinfection solutions. Because it designed as an inexpensive disposable, it may not be boiled, steamed autoclaved or subject to extremely high temperatures. When an aerosol delivery device is used in conjunction with the Vibralung Acoustical Percussor, additional cleaning techniques must be accomplished for the aerosol delivery device.

Inasmuch as the Vibralung Acoustical Percussor may be used with a wide range of pulmonary and neuromuscular disease patients, with varying degrees of infectious risk, the device has been designed to accommodate different cleaning protocols including periodic discarding of disposable parts. The care team, in consultation with the patient/patient's family, must decide the appropriate cleaning protocol for any given patient. Please refer to the Vibralung Acoustical Percussor web site (vibralungACT.com) for more details and comprehensive cleaning instructions.

Thanks to those of you who are interested in this product.

Michael McPeck, RRT FAARC ([email protected])
Director, Clinical Education
Vibralung Clinical Specialist
Westmed, Inc.
Tucson, AZ
westmedinc.com (http://westmedinc.com/)
vibralungACT.com (http://westmedinc.com/vibralung/)

03-23-2015, 08:38 PM
Thank you Mmcpeck! I appreciate your detailed response. I am going to have my son ask his team at his next appointment if he could get the Vibralung. It is covered partly by our insurance. I will have him find out if the doctor thinks it is sufficient cleaning but mostly likely it is from what you said. Thank you for your response.