Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilation (IPV) is a treatment that helps with the removal of mucus from the lungs. This treatment is delivered through a mouthpiece and combines moisture in the form of a mist with small bursts of air. These small bursts help to shake the mucus loose so that you can cough it out more easily. The mist helps to make your mucus moist. The part of the IPV machine that makes the mist is called the nebulizer. Sometimes drugs, in liquid form, can be added to the nebulizer to help make the treatment even more effective. Your doctor feels you need this treatment because you need help clearing the mucus from your lungs.
1. Add saline to your nebulizer. Saline is a form of water used specifically in nebulizers. Never fill your nebulizer with tap or distilled water. If you use medicine with your IPV treatment, it should be added to the saline. The cup should be filled to the 20cc line. If it is not, add more saline until it is.
2. Assemble your IPV circuit as instructed by your respiratory therapist. See the diagram above for correct assembly. All connections are color coded to make assembly easier. Green tubes attach to green parts of the nebulizer and IPV machine, yellow to yellow, etc.
3. Turn on your air compressor. The IPV should now be making a mist
4. Place the mouthpiece in your mouth and press down on the silver thumb switch to start the mini breaths. Breathe in the mini breaths for as long as you can. Try not to let your cheeks fill with air. If your cheeks get tired, you can rest by taking your finger off the thumb switch and just breathe in the mist for awhile. You can push the thumb switch again when you are ready.
5. Remember to cough during your treatment. If you do not feel the urge to cough during the treatment, we recommend that you do a “huff” cough about every five minutes while you are doing the therapy.
6. A huff cough 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.
7. Your treatment should last 20 minutes or until your cough is no longer productive. If you have added medicine to the nebulizer, make sure all of the liquid is gone before you stop the treatment.
8. After the treatment is over, take the medicine cup apart and allow it to air dry on a clean paper towel.
Dishwasher Cleaning of the IPV Nebulizer
If you have a dishwasher, place all of the IPV parts except the hoses in the dishwasher twice a week to be cleaned and disinfected. Follow the instructions below.
- Take the nebulizer apart.
- Place the pieces in a dishwasher basket on the top rack of the dishwasher.
- After the dishwasher cycle is done, remove the pieces and shake out the extra water.
- Air-dry the nebulizer pieces on a dry paper towel.
Hand Cleaning the IPV Nebulizer and Hoses
If you do not have a dishwasher, follow the steps below.
- Take the nebulizer apart and wash the pieces in warm soapy water.
- Rinse with hot tap water.
- Place the nebulizer pieces in a bowl and add enough rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) to completely cover the equipment.
- Soak the nebulizer for 5 minutes.
- Rinse all of the parts of the nebulizer 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, and then throw it out.
- Place the pieces on a paper towel to dry.
If you have questions or need more supplies, contact UW Home Health at (608) 203-2273.
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: 06/20/2012
Illustration by Stuart McVicar, RRT
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