TheraPEP is a treatment that helps to remove mucus from the lungs. It also improves how nebulized bronchodilators work. A bronchodilator is a drug that helps to relax the smooth muscles in the lungs to make breathing easier. It can also prevent lung collapse or open up areas that have collapsed.
How to do a TheraPEP Treatment
1. Make sure that the dial is set to the correct range ordered by your doctor.
2. Sit with your elbows resting on the table or sit upright.
3. Make a tight seal around the mouthpiece with your mouth. If you are using a mask, apply the mask tightly over your nose and mouth.
4. Take a deep breath in through your nose.
5. Hold your breath for 2-3 seconds. This allows the air to move through the lungs.
6. Breathe out slowly with force into the TheraPEP. Keep your cheeks hard and flat while you are breathing out.
7. During the time that you are breathing out, you will feel resistance. This is positive pressure in your airways.
8. You should breathe out 3-4 times as long as you breathe in.
9. Repeat the steps above until you have blown through the TheraPEP 20 times.
10. Remove the mouthpiece and perform a “huff cough”. This is done by taking a deep breath and holding it for 1-3 seconds. Then force the air out of your lungs with your mouth open like you would do if you were trying to fog a mirror.
11. Continue steps 2-10 for a total of _______ minutes as ordered by your doctor.
12. Note: It is vital to pace yourself as you breathe out into the TheraPEP device. Pause for a few seconds between breaths. If you feel dizzy or get a headache while using the TheraPEP, you may be breathing too fast. If you get these symptoms, stop using the TheraPEP for a few minutes and breathe as normal. When you begin to use the TheraPEP again, take more time between breaths.
12. Your doctor has ordered the therapy ______ times per day at setting level________.
Using the TheraPEP with Your Nebulizer
Your TheraPEP can be used at the same time you are doing your nebulizer treatment. Follow the set-up picture below.
Cleaning the TheraPEP
The TheraPEP should be cleaned twice weekly or more often if it is soiled.
- Take the TheraPEP apart and soak all of the pieces except the tubing and “blue indicator column” in warm soapy water for five minutes.
- Rinse all of the parts with hot tap water. Then place them in a bowl with enough rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) to cover the TheraPEP. Soak the TheraPEP device in alcohol for five minutes.
- Remove the TheraPEP from the alcohol and rinse with sterile water. Do not use water from the faucet, bottled or distilled water. You can make water sterile by boiling it for 5 minutes. Use this water once, then throw it out.
- Place all of the parts on a paper towel to dry.
If you are using the TheraPEP with a nebulizer, please clean the nebulizer at the same time that you clean your TheraPEP. Please refer to the Small Volume Nebulizer Health Facts for You #4228 for cleaning guidelines.
Return Clinic Appointments
Please bring your TheraPEP with you to clinic visits.
Please bring your TheraPEP to the hospital if you are admitted.
If you have questions or need more supplies, contact UW Home Health at (608) 203-2273.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #7045.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 03/15/2011
Copyright © 03/15/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4913
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