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People who have had a spinal cord injury (SCI) don't always have the ability to cough forcefully. A forceful cough is important, because it will help you bring up mucus in the lungs, which can help prevent some lung complications, such as pneumonia.
But some people shouldn't try assisted cough. Don't use an assisted cough if you:
If your cough is weak, and if it is difficult to bring up mucus or you know you have lots of mucus, you need an assisted cough. In an assisted cough, another person pushes on your chest to help you cough. An assisted cough is done while you are sitting up in a bed or chair. If you are in a wheelchair, be sure to put the brakes on.
See a picture of this type of assisted cough.
Another technique may be used if the first one doesn't work or if you are obese.
See a picture of this other type of assisted cough.
If you have enough arm strength, you may be able to help yourself cough:
See a picture of a self-assisted cough.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerNancy E. Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Current as ofOctober 9, 2017
Current as of:
October 9, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Nancy E. Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
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