People with some lung conditions, such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, mycobacterial disease and bronchiectasis often produce a large amount of mucus. If the mucus is allowed to collect in the airways, breathing may become difficult and infection may occur. The Acapella Choice® airway clearance device is used to help remove mucus from the airways. The device may be used after taking a short-acting inhaled bronchodilator medication (as prescribed by your doctor). The medication helps open the airways to make the technique more effective.
How to Use the Acapella Choice®
- Assure proper setting of the dial on the end of the Acapella®. This is the end opposite the mouthpiece. Your healthcare provider will set the dial when you get your Acapella®. Rotate the end toward the + (plus) to increase resistance. Rotate the end toward – (minus)to decrease resistance.
- Sit up with good posture to use the Acapella®. Sometimes we may have you lie in a postural drainage position to use the Acapella®. Postural drainage positions include lying flat on your back, flat on your side and alternating sides. Your healthcare provider will show you postural drainage positions to use if these are recommended.
- Take in a fairly deep breath and hold it for about 3 seconds.
- Place the Acapella mouthpiece in your mouth. Seal your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
- Exhale as much as possible (but not too forcefully) through the mouthpiece. Keep your cheeks as firm as possible when you exhale. Try not to inhale through the device.
- Repeat this maneuver for 10 to 12 breaths. Try to resist coughing during this phase.
- After these 10 to 12 breaths, perform 3 to 4 huffs and then a big cough to bring up mucus.
- Huff coughing is a type of coughing if you have trouble clearing your mucus. Take a breath that is slightly deeper than normal. Use your stomach muscles to make a series of 3 rapid exhalations with the airway open, making a “ha, ha, ha” sound. Follow this by controlled diaphragmatic breathing and a deep cough if you feel mucus moving.
- Repeat steps 1 through 7 for 15 minutes (or as prescribed by your healthcare provider).
- Your healthcare provider will tell you how many times a day to use the Acapella®. If you use a short-acting inhaled bronchodilator, use the Acapella® 15 minutes after you inhale the medicine.
How to Clean and Care for the Acapella Choice®
- Wash you hands.
- Clean the Acapella Choice® every day.
- Take the Acapella Choice® apart. There are four parts to take apart.Daily: Clean the four parts of the Acapella® daily with Liquid Dish Detergent – Rinse with water. Disinfect Weekly: Clean the four parts of the Acapella® with alcohol. Soak both parts in 70% isopropyl alcohol for 5 minutes. or Clean the four parts of the Acapella® with hydrogen peroxide. Soak both parts in 3% hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes. Note : The Acapella® should NOT be placed in the automatic dishwasher, boiled or bleached.
- Shake off excess water.
- Drain dry the device. Place each piece downward or rest the pieces on the sides.
- Reassemble the device when it is completely dry.
How to Reassemble the Acapella Choice®
- There are four parts to reassemble.
- Hold the base unit. Place the white rocker assembly back into the base unit. Press down onto the rocker assemble.
- Attach the cover by placing it into the hinges of the base unit. You will hear a click.
- Place the cover on the device.
- Press the top and bottom of the Acapella Choice® together while you slip on the mouthpiece.
How to Replace the Acapella Choice®
To replace the Acapella Choice® you need a prescription from your local healthcare provider. Take the prescription to a local home care company.
This information has been approved by Ann Mullen, RN, MSN, AE-C (February 2015).