Marked improvement of extensive atelectasis by unilateral application of the RTX respirator in elderly patients

Koji Kato, Naoki Sato, Shinhiro Takeda, Takeshi Yamamoto, Ryo Munakata, Masafumi Tsurumi, Daigo Suzuki, Kaori Yagi, Keiji Tanaka, Kyoichi Mizuno
Internal Medicine 2009, 48 (16): 1419-23
The RTX respirator is a biphasic external cuirass-style ventilator that supports both inspiration and expiration at various cycle rates and pressures, as well as allowing application of the vibration and cough modes. With this respirator, the duration and pressure can be altered in both the inspiratory and expiratory phases, and it can promote the removal of secretions by switching between the vibration mode (which involves external high-frequency oscillation: EHFO) and the cough mode. We used this respirator to remove secretions in two elderly patients with extensive atelectasis. They were nursed in the lateral decubitus position with the cuirass attached to one side of the chest only. The vibration mode removed secretion to reduce the viscosity of secretions and loosen impacted bronchial secretions. The cough mode interrupts the vibration mode and forces secretions towards the pharynx. The lateral decubitus position was useful for postural drainage. The extensive atelectasis of both patients was improved by this procedure. The RTX respirator may be a useful tool for the management of elderly patients with sputum retention.

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