Nursing the Child with Respiratory Problems by Joan Ramsay RGN, DipN(London), Cert Ed, RNT (auth.)

By Joan Ramsay RGN, DipN(London), Cert Ed, RNT (auth.)

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Drugs can also be added to inspired air and inhaled in the form of airborne particles using an aerosol. Physical therapy involves aiding the normal secretory mechanisms of the lung by using such techniques as deep breathing and coughing exercises, percussion, vibration and postural drainage. Parents and older children can be taught to perform most of these procedures at home. To practise with confidence, competence and safety they need to be shown not only the techniques involved but also the possible side-effects and any necessary precautions.

Vigoraus repeated blows are directed at a specific area of the lightly clothed ehest wall with cupped hands. A cupped hand creates an air packet which cushions the blow, and sends a shock wave into the lungs. Performed properly, percussion should make a loud hollow sound and cause no discomfort or pain. A towel, or similar light cloth, should be placed over the area tobe treated to prevent stinging. Fingers may have to be used for infants where areas to be percussed may be too small to use the hands.

Many medications given in this way are preseribed to be diluted with normal saline to aid the removal of seeretions. The effeetiveness of any drug is obviously dependent on eoneentration so the dilution should be aeeurate. 1). 3 PHYSICAL THERAPY Physical therapy is one of the oldest forms of therapy used to treat disorders of the respiratory traet. It includes ehest physiotherapy, which eonsists of postural drainage, pereussion, vibration and eoughing, breathing exercises and physical exercises.

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