Arguments for HFCWO Airway Clearance vs Manual Percussion Therapy

In many countries, physicians, respiratory therapists, caregivers and members of the CF community have prolonged discussions about the value of HFCWO Airway Clearance Therapy vs. Manual Percussion Therapy. This debate often include  arguments about the high cost of modern Airway Clearance Systems, such as the Hill-Rom ‘The Vest’ System.  Due to the high costs of these devices, most people outside the USA still rely on manual percussion therapy.  Medical studies have not shown that HFCWO therapy is significantly more effective to percussion therapy for some condition.  These studies however fail to take several important factors into consideration.


Regular, consistent airway clearance therapy is key  to maintaining optimal lung function. It is easier to maintain a consistent therapy schedule using a dedicated airway clearance device.  As children grow older, they are often hesitant to submit to manual percussion therapy.  As CF patients grow, it often gets harder for their caregiver to administer manual percussion therapy.  This is especially true with older patients whose parents have also aged and have less energy.  Using The Vest system, patients can engage in other, fun activities such as reading or playing video games while receiving treatment.  This alone can dramatically increase compliance which in turn results in better lung function and respiratory health. Additionally, airway clearance systems allow the patient to easily do nebulizer treatments independently along with their vest treatments.


A HFCWO Airway Clearance System delivers the same quality therapy every time.  Manual percussion therapy treatments can vary, depending on caretaker availability, energy levels, time constraints, etc.


We never seem to have enough of it, especially if we are a caretaker.  HFCWO Airway Clearance Systems can reduce the amount of time and energy required to delivery quality therapy.  Children can be taught to self-administer airway clearance treatments using the Hill-Rom Vest system.  This can free up a caregiver’s time. As a caregiver, what would you rather do:  spend quality time with your child or go through another agonizing percussion therapy session?

We have dramatically lowered the cost of an airway clearance system to about 10 – 15% of the new price. This allows many patients that were previously unable to afford a new system to own one.  Airway clearance therapy using manual percussion can be hard on caregivers and respiratory therapists alike.  None of our time is free and unlimited.  Most children and young adults prefer HFCWO therapy since it is a step towards independence from their caregivers.  HFCWO therapy is the only option for most people living independently.   For older patients, HFCWO therapy allows them to maintain more freedom and remain in their own home rather than moving into an assisted living or nursing environment.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.