What Is High-Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation?

Dozens of respiratory and neuromuscular diseases impact millions across the United States. If you are one of those affected, you know how difficult it is to
breathe freely and live life to the fullest with these conditions. They can cause mucus build-up in the lungs, blocking the airways and impeding treatment. One effective home therapy for clearing your lungs and improving your breathing is high-frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO).

What is HFCWO?

High-frequency chest wall oscillation uses a fitted vest to produce vibrations that loosen and remove mucus from your lungs. HFCWO therapy helps clear your airway using a respiratory vest that is connected to a generator with a hose. The generator creates rapid air pulses and sends them into the vest. These pulses gently tighten and release your chest. The repetitive hugging of the chest wall creates oscillating vibrations that jostle and clear the mucus from your lungs.

What is HFCWO therapy and how does it work?

HFCWO therapy sessions are typically performed twice daily for 20-30 minutes each. During a session, the vest oscillates as rapidly as 20 times per second. The vibrations break up and thin the mucus, helping separate it from the walls of your lungs. That stimulates the cilia, which carry the loosened mucus into your upper airways. Every five minutes, the session is paused so you can cough and clear the mucus from your chest.

Who needs HFCWO?

High-frequency chest wall oscillation therapy is safe for many ages and body types, making it an effective procedure for children and adults alike. It helps treat conditions such as cystic fibrosis (CF), neuromuscular conditions, bronchitis, and other diseases and conditions that cause increased mucus production and reduced ability to clear the airways. A partial list of the type of conditions HFCWO treats includes:

Other benefits of HFCWO

HFCWO is a popular treatment because it is easy to do at home, is self-administered, and does not require a skilled professional. You are free to do other activities during your HCFWO treatment because it doesn't require any unique position or breathing techniques, and is not invasive. Unlike some other respiratory therapies, you can control when you undergo your HFCWO session, empowering you to take an active role in your treatment schedule.

When completed regularly, high-frequency chest wall oscillation can help you achieve a better quality of life. If you are considering trying HFCWO therapy, remember that vests are available by prescription only. We encourage you to talk with your practitioner about whether HFCWO is right for you.

Getting started with Lincare

Our team is passionate about delivering the best care possible. We are here to be your trusted partner throughout your treatment journey. Lincare's clinical experts can help you get the most out of your treatment, ensure that you are comfortable during HFCWO therapy, and answer any questions you or your practitioner have. Together, we will develop a plan tailored to your needs and health requirements. Lincare is available 24/7 to support you anytime, day or night.

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