Acapella Vibratory PEP Mucous Clearance Device

Acapella(R) Choice. Copyright (c) Smiths Medical

Henleys Medical Supplies, of 39 Brownfields, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire County AL7 1AN, United Kingdom has posted a thorough documentary on YouTube of the Acapella(R) Choice, made by Smiths Medical.

Henleys is the sole distributor in the United Kingdom for Smiths Medical's Acapella(R) Choice PEP Mucus Clearance Device.

The Acapella is intended for the patient to open airways and mobilize secretions.

It is a hand-held device that uses positive expiratory pressure, known as PEP, and vibratory flutter to activate excess mucus so that it doesn't continue to build and cause harm to the patient.

Certain conditions cause excess secretions to gather in the airways and prevent important gasses from entering and exiting the lungs.

Excess mucus build-up can cause:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic bronchitis 
  • Atelectasis
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Central Nervous System / Neuromuscular Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Mucociliary clearance disorders

Patients with these conditions have difficulty getting secretions to move out of their airways. If left unchecked, it could lead to further serious conditions like an infection in the lungs, lung inflammation, and airway obstruction.

Vibratory therapy gently loosens and disengages trapped mucus. 

Positive expiratory pressure (PEP) therapy creates a force that splits airways open during exhalation and pushes air behind the mucus, pushing it through the small airways and into the larger airways.

Once in the large airways, the secretions can be more easily coughed up.

Acapella uses both therapeutic methods: Vibratory and PEP.

How to Use the Acapella Choice Device

The patient places the hand-held device in her mouth and inhales, thus allowing air to enter. When the patient breathes out, the valve closes, creating PEP.

The vibrations caused by the device's internal "valve" activates when the patient breathes through it.

With a doctor's prescription, the Acapella unit can be attached to an asthmatic's bronchodilator device. The combination of these two devices may optimize delivery and accelerate the effects of the medication.

Benefits of the Acapella System

  • You administer your own therapy, not needing a second person to help.
  • Therapy can be performed anywhere, thus reducing hospital or clinic visits.
  • Can be used at any time or in any position, for further convenience.
  • Adjustable to each patient's needs.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy to operate and does not require electricity to use.
  • It has a shorter treatment time than percussion therapies.

Four Models

  1. Acapella DH: Used in acute care settings for patients with near-normal expiratory capacity, able to expire for 3 to 4 seconds.
  2. Acapella DM: Used in acute care settings by adults and children with below-normal expiratory capacity. People who cannot exhale for 3 to 4 seconds.
  3. Acapella Choice: Used in any setting, hospital or home. Can be disassembled for cleaning and disinfecting. It incorporates a numbered adjustable frequency dial.
  4. Acapella Duet: Used in any setting, and can be disassembled for cleaning and disinfecting. Features a dedicated port for attaching a small volume nebulizer. 

    Since the Choice and Duet models are the two that can be used anywhere, these are the two that may be prescribed by a physician for the patient to take with them to their home, work, and school.

    Regarding the expiratory resistance frequency adjustment dial, this feature allows you to adjust the vibrations and resistance. This ensures maximal therapeutic results are achieved. The setting should be determined by your physician because it will affect the results you experience.

    How to use Acapella

    1. Wash your hands
    2. Adjust the dial to the recommended setting
    3. Place the mouthpiece in your mouth
    4. Take a deep breath
    1. Hold your breath for 2 to 3 seconds
    2. Exhale actively, but not forcefully, through the device
    3. Exhalation should last 3 to 4 seconds
    4. Inhale through the mouthpiece
    5. Repeat for 10 to 20 breaths as recommended by your healthcare provider
    6. Perform 3 huff coughs: A huff cough is a short, quick, forced exhalation
    7. Repeat 10 to 20 breaths and 2 more huff coughs