Learn to Use an Incentive Spirometer

By Adem Lewis / in , , , /

Your incentive spirometer is a tool that
will help keep your lungs healthy after surgery. Surgery and anesthesia can lead
to less activity in the lungs, which can put you at risk for pneumonia. The
incentive spirometer helps to protect you by expanding and exercising your
lung capacity. You will use this tool regularly while in the hospital after
surgery and we want you to practice using it at home, in preparation for your
visit. The incentive spirometer has a mouthpiece, a main chamber with the
piston, and a goal marker to show your progress. It also has a flow indicator to
help you inhale at the correct rate. To use the incentive spirometer, sit up as
far as you can in bed, on the edge of your bed, or in a chair. Hold the
incentive spirometer up right with the good-better-best label facing you. Exhale
fully before you begin place the mouthpiece in your mouth and seal your
lips tightly around it. Breathe in as slowly and deeply as possible, this will
raise the piston in the main chamber. Try to keep the flow indicator in the better
or best position throughout your entire breath. The marker tab shows you the
target that your doctor wants you to raise the piston to each time you use
your incentive spirometer. At the end of your inhalation, hold your breath for at
least 5 seconds, allowing the piston to fall back to 0. Take your time and slow
down if you begin to feel light-headed. Now, see if you can do it yourself. Sit up
straight on the bed or chair, exhale fully, seal your lips around the
mouthpiece, and then breathe in as slowly and deeply as possible. Don’t forget to
hold your breath for at least 5 seconds to allow the piston to fall back to 0.
You will repeat this 10 times at each practice session. Always remember to sit
up straight, inhale slowly and deeply, keep the flow indicator in the better or
best position, slow down if you feel light-headed.
Try practicing at home to get your lungs ready for surgery and help prevent
pneumonia. We recommend that you user incentive spirometer four times a day.
Inhale ten times each practice session. If it helps you remember, you can
practice using your incentive spirometer before each meal and then again right
before bedtime.

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