Deep Breathing and Incentive Spirometry Trauma
Deep breathing is vital to your health. It opens the tiny air sacs in your lungs and helps keep your lungs clear. Normally, you take many deep breaths each hour without even being aware of it. When you are not as active or on bedrest, breathing can become shallow.
Deep breathing exercises help to open the air passages and expand your lungs. Coughing helps get rid of any extra mucus in the lungs. While you are in the hospital, your nurse will explain the deep breathing and coughing exercises you need to do. You will be shown how to use the incentive spirometer, a device to help you breathe deeply.
1. Put your hand on your abdomen. Breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose. Try pushing your abdomen out as you breathe in. Hold your breath for a second or two.
2. Breathe out slowly through your mouth. Try to empty your lungs.
3. Repeat 2 more times.
4. Breathe in again, hold your breath, and then cough from deep in the lungs (not a shallow throat cough). If you have had surgery in your chest or abdomen, hold your incision with a pillow to decrease pain when you cough.
How to Use Your Deep Breathing Exerciser (Incentive Spirometer)
1. Hold the unit upright, breathe out as usual and place your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
2. Take a deep breath. Inhale enough air to slowly raise the Flow Rate Guide between the arrows.
3. Hold the deep breath. Continue to inhale, keeping the guide as high as you can for as long as you can, or as directed by your nurse or respiratory therapist.
4. Breathe out and relax. Remove the mouthpiece and breathe out. After each deep breath, take a moment to rest, relax, and take a few normal breaths. Repeat as often as your nurse tells you to.
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: 04/13/2009
Copyright © 05/07/2008 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6724
Print Health Fact For You