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Assisted Cough for a Person Who Is Obese

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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.

This style is useful if you are overweight.

  • Your caregiver places his or her hands on the lower part of your rib cage, with the fingers wrapping around your sides pointing toward your back and the thumbs pointing inward, toward the center of your chest.
  • You take a deep breath and hold it.
  • You cough while the caregiver squeezes your ribs up and in. It may take practice to coordinate your cough with the motion.

If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor before using an assisted cough. Most specialists do not recommend using an assisted cough for pregnant women, especially in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Nancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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