Monday, August 17, 2009

The PEP mask


Ok so a lot of people have been asking what the PEP mask is so I thought I would tell you a lil about it...

The Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP) mask is another alternative to airway clearance, and I love it!! I was first introduced to it in the early 90's but then I think the flutter came out then the vest so the PEP mask kind of was forgotten about cause we had moved on to bigger and better, right?

Well in March of 08 when I was in the joint the RTs tried to get me to do the mask instead of my usual "Somer Genics" (which is active cycle and autogenic drainage mixed, I may have to post on that later) But I thought t was ridiculous that they would want to re invent an old version of airway clearance. So I continued that stay with CPT, Somer Genics and Thera PEP when I was being discharged my PFT's were a 36 not where I wanted them, again shooting for a 42. So the RT came in and asked if I wanted to take a PEP mask home, well I really want to blow a 42 so I finally succomb to the 90's version of airway clearance. Since that day in March of 08 I have used it 2 to 3 times a day. I do it for about 15 min or until there is no more crap coming up. So the PEP mask is another thing that I started doing after my last admit. Let me remind you I am 17 months on parole and counting. Which is crazy since before March of 08 I was in every 2 to 3 months for the 2 week stay.

Here is a more clinical description of the PEP mask...

The PEP mask consists of a rubber mask which is connected to a one-way breathing valve and tube adaptor, which creates resistance. The patient presses the mask against his/her face and slowly inhales through the inspiratory port and then exhales against the expiratory resistance. The PEP mask keeps the airways open allowing mucus to be secreted. The PEP mask theory has been related to a bottle of ketchup. A new bottle of ketchup turned upside down and pounded on doesn't move much ketchup out of the bottle; but as soon as a knife is put in the bottle, the ketchup flows freely. The idea is that once there is air in the bottle, the air helps push the ketchup. With the PEP mask, the valves allow the airways to stay open longer causing air to help push out the secretions. It takes some training to learn how to use the PEP mask, and the mask has different size valves that can be used to fit the specific needs of each patient. The mask is done without the aid of another person. The patient is actively involved with this type of therapy, and it takes much discipline to comply with this therapy regimen.



6 comments:

Jessica said...

wow that actually sounds like it works! I hate the vest/acapella I have never thought they worked that great...Im seriously gonna have to ask my doc about this. Thank You

Kara said...

I have started to use my pep again in conjunction with my vest and I can tell a big difference. I have even started to do it when I don't do my vest and I forgot how good it really does work!

Ronnie "Sickboy" Sharpe said...

Looks like I need to get me a PEP mask...what's the best way to go about it?

Ronnie

Katelyn said...

I've never heard of that. Interesting!

Frau said...

So cool I'd say that is helping keeping you out of the joint!! Woo Hoo!

Emilee said...

Oh the good ol' pep mask. They also had me do it again in 08 which was fine. I dont mind it at all, but the resp therapists agreed that because I do my therapep so well it really does the same thing as the pep mask. Maybe I'll have to pull it out again for kicks. It really is amazing. sometimes newer isnt better. I hate the vest!