An incentive spirometer is a device used to help you keep your lungs healthy while they are healing. The incentive spirometer teaches you how to take slow deep breaths.
After surgery, it may be too painful to take deep breaths. You may also feel too weak to take deep breaths. When you do not breathe deeply enough, this can lead to sick lungs.
By using the incentive spirometer every 1 - 2 hours, or as directed by your nurse or doctor, you can take an active role in your recovery and keep your lungs healthy.
Sit up and hold the incentive spirometer upright.
A piece in the incentive spirometer will rise as you take a breath in.
Another, smaller piece in the incentive spirometer looks like a ball or disc.
Hold your breath for a few (3 - 5) seconds, then slowly release your breath and exhale.
Repeat 10 - 15 breaths every 1 - 2 hours or as instructed by your nurse or doctor.
James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Department of Respiratory Therapy. How to Use an Incentive. Columbus: James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Department of Respiratory Therapy, 2009. Print.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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