Two exercises to help F0 expel phlegm to clean the lungs

Deep breathing, then active cough, cough to expel sputum helps Covid-19 patients clear the phlegm in the lungs and ventilate the respiratory tract.

Doctor, doctor Nguyen Nhu Vinh, head of the respiratory function investigation department, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, lecturer at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City, said that when suffering from respiratory diseases, such as asthma, inflammation Lungs, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), especially Covid-19 in the current period, the patient’s lungs may have a lot of phlegm (sputum), causing difficulty breathing, discomfort.

According to Dr. Vinh, about 80% of Covid-19 patients have no symptoms, the remaining 20% ​​have 4 most common symptoms: fever, dry cough, fatigue, and sputum production. Cough exercises help patients actively clean their lungs, better ventilation, and properly expel sputum, less effort and do not make breathing more difficult.

Before performing the exercises, the patient needs to dilute the sputum by taking drugs of the long expectorant group such as N-acetylcysteine, guaifenesin… or drinking a lot (warm water is recommended).

Simulate cough excercise. Photo: My Digital Publication

Coughing exercises

The patient is seated in a firm, comfortable chair. Then perform the following actions in turn:

– Take a deep breath in through your nose, you can hold your breath for a while and then exhale a long breath in front of your face (like the movement of blowing on the glass to blur the glass). Perform the movement of inhalation and exhalation 3-4 times, to let the sputum go from the small airway to the large airway.

– Take a deep breath again and then cough loudly twice (no need to cough too hard, just cough with strength into two “huh, huh”). This movement helps expel phlegm from the large airways out of the lungs to spit out.

If there is still a feeling of sputum, it should be repeated to clear the phlegm out of the lungs.

Active cough exercises

Active coughing helps to push phlegm out of the lungs periodically, to clean the lungs without waiting for too much phlegm to cause coughing (passive). Passive cough can cause coughing attacks, choking, fatigue and shortness of breath. When you feel that your throat is stuck with phlegm, performing this cough will actively expel the phlegm.

The patient sits on a firm chair with his back straight, holds his abdomen with both hands so that his hands grasp the elbows of the opposite side. Later:

– Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth 2-3 times deeper than usual.

– On the next inhalation and exhalation, the exhalation is replaced by a strong cough for 2-3 short hours (opening your mouth when coughing). Simultaneously, use your hands to press your abdomen toward your back, bending forward. Sputum will be pushed out from the lungs.

If you still feel stuck, you can do it a few more times.

Simulate sitting posture when practicing active cough.  Photo: Krsna Physio Plus

Simulate sitting posture when practicing active cough. Photo: Krsna Physio Plus

Doctor Vinh especially noted that such a strong cough will cause secretions in the respiratory tract to fly out into the air. If an infected person has Covid-19, they can infect those around them. Therefore, when performing exercises, the patient only performs in his own space and must disinfect, clean the room, and dispose of waste in accordance with regulations.

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