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Airway Clearance Therapy

Cleaning and Maintenance of Airway Clearance Devices

Cleaning your airway clearance devices is very important. Good cleaning habits will help to stop bacteria, and fungi growing in your devices and possibly entering your airways. Looking after your airway clearance devices is important to make sure they are working best for you. Each device has different cleaning recommendations, and it is important that the instructions for cleaning are followed. Instructions should be available with all products, check the manual for these instructions. If you are unsure of how to clean and maintain your airway clearance device please discuss with your CF physiotherapist. 

Airway clearance equipment should be stored away from areas that are more likely to create dust, mould or mildew build-up. Equipment should be replaced if faulty, broken or visibly damaged. Talk to your physiotherapist if your equipment is not working.

Please refer to the product manuals for instructions on the cleaning of your equipment.  However, general principles for equipment cleaning include:

Cleaning after you have used the equipment:

  • Take the device apart
  • Wash all the pieces in warm soapy water
  • Rinse with fresh water
  • Shake excess water from each piece of the device
  • Place pieces on a clean dry towel or dish rack and leave to air dry

Weekly sterilisation

There are several ways in which to sterilise the device. These include:

  • Boil all parts of device in rapidly boiling water for 10-15mins OR,
  • Use a baby bottle sterilising device (avoiding microwave devices especially if your device has metal parts to it).

Storage of devices

Store your devices in a clean, dry covered container. Regularly wash and dry this container

At least once a year your physiotherapist should review your equipment and your techniques for airway clearance. Ask for more regular reviews if you have questions or if you don’t think the equipment is working well for you.

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