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RESPIRATORY MANAGEMENT IN SPINAL CORD INJURY: BREATHING AND THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM IN SCI: RESPIRATORY TRACT COMPLICATIONS: LUNG CONGESTION

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Lung Congestion and Chest Cold

    You can help prevent collection of the secretions that can cause lung congestion and respiratory complications and keep the secretions thin, loose, and easy to bring up by:

  • Deep breathing
  • Coughing
  • Turning at least every two hours while in bed
  • Drinking adequate amounts of fluids
  • Sitting up for short intervals (if no fever is present)
  • Using postural drainage
  • Using percussion

In Deep breathing, you expand the air sacs of the lungs. This expansion of the air sacs helps to keep them from becoming blocked with mucus. Deep breathe at least once an hour when you are aware. Use an incentive spirometer or other equipment to help you breathe deeply.

Coughing will expel the mucous secretions. If you cannot cough on your own, you will need help to cough. This is called an assisted cough.

Click on Postural drainage and Percussion for more information on these preventive measures.

     If you are a quadriplegic or high paraplegic, call the doctor even if you have a small amount of congestion. Don't wait until you have a fever.

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