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Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

Step 1 of 6
Action Set
Cystic Fibrosis: Helping Your Child Cough Up Mucus

Cystic fibrosis causes mucus to become thick and sticky, which can clog the lungs and cause serious problems. You can help your child maintain lung function and avoid complications from mucus buildup and blockage by performing an airway clearance technique (ACT). Postural drainage and chest percussion (PD & P) is one of several airway clearance techniques that help clear mucus from your child's lungs.

  • To help keep the lungs clear, it is important to do an airway clearance technique (such as postural drainage and chest percussion) every day. PD & P works well when used regularly.
  • These techniques are one part of a larger treatment plan for cystic fibrosis.
  • You may not notice an improvement in your child's lung function right away. But stopping these treatments will cause decreased lung function after about 3 weeks in children who have mild to moderate lung problems.1

It is important for your child to visit his or her doctor regularly and make any needed changes in treatment.

how.gif  How do I do postural drainage?

Up Next in This Action Set:


  1. Egan M (2011). Cystic fibrosis. In RM Kliegman et al., eds., Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 19th ed., pp. 1481–1497. Philadelphia: Saunders.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerCatherine O'Malley, RRT - Respiratory Therapy

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 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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