Skip to content

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.

Key points:

  • 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 studies show that stopping these treatments will cause decreased lung function after 3 weeks in older 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.

what.gif What does excess mucus do to the lungs and health?
why.gif Why should I do postural drainage?
how.gif How do I do postural drainage?
where.gif Where to go from here

Return to topic:

Citations

  1. Boat TF, Acton JD (2007). Cystic fibrosis. In RM Kliegman et al., eds., Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 18th ed., pp. 1803–1817. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerCatherine O'Malley, RRT - Respiratory Therapy
Last RevisedJune 9, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 09, 2011
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.

Today on WebMD

man coughing
You may not even know you have it.
blood clot
Signs of this potentially fatal complication.
 
man coughing
When a cold becomes bronchitis.
human lungs
Causes behind painful breathing, fluid buildup.
 

Bronchitis Overview
SLIDESHOW
Copd Myth Fact Quiz
QUIZ
 
Living With Copd
VIDEO
Energy Boosting Foods
SLIDESHOW
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

cigarette butts snuffed out in ashtray
SLIDESHOW
Healthy Home Health Check
TOOL
 
Senior woman stretching
Article
Diagnosing Copd
VIDEO
 

WebMD Special Sections