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Using the Flutter Device

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What is the Flutter®?

The Flutter® is a device that is used to help loosen mucous so it can be coughed out of the lungs. Sometimes mucous in the lungs can become thick and hard to clear from the airways. If this mucous stays in the airways, it could block them, making it harder to breathe. Infection is also possible when mucous stays trapped in the airways.

How does the Flutter® work?

When you breathe out through the Flutter®, it causes the ball inside to bounce. This bouncing causes increased pressure inside the chest and sends vibrations down through the airways. The combination of increased pressure and vibrations helps the mucous move from the lungs into the airways where it can be coughed out.

How do I use the Flutter®

  1. Relax in a sitting position with your head tilted slightly back. This will allow the air to flow out smoothly.
  2. Slowly breathe in deeper than a normal breath, and hold your breath for 2-3 seconds.
  3. Hold the Flutter® stem horizontal to the floor so the ball can bounce and roll inside the Flutter® as you blow out.
  4. Put the flutter in your mouth and close your lips around the stem.
  5. Position the flutter at the proper angle and blow out a little faster and longer than normal.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5, 5-10 times, all the time trying to stop your desire to cough.
  7. Finally, take a full, deep breath into your lungs and hold your breath for 2-3 seconds.
  8. Blow out forcefully through the Flutter® until you can’t blow any more air from your lungs. Make sure the ball is bouncing and rolling as you blow out.
  9. Repeat this forceful exhalation (steps 7 and 8) 1 or 2 more times.
  10. Try to cough the mucous from your chest. This should clear your chest.
  • Remember as you blow the air out, make sure to keep your cheeks flat and tight so the vibrations can be absorbed into your lungs and not your cheeks.
  • You can move the Flutter® to different positions until you find the angle where you feel the strongest vibrations and fluttering sensation.
  • A second person can help you determine when you achieve the strongest flutter sensation by placing one hand on your back and the other hand on your chest. They will be able to feel the vibrations through your chest as you blow out.

When should I use my Flutter®?

Your healthcare professional can tell you how often to use your Flutter®. Usually morning, late afternoon, or evening sessions are recommended. A session should last for 5-15 minutes depending on your respiratory condition. To avoid becoming overly tired, add an extra, shorter session instead of pushing yourself too far.

If you have any questions or problems, you can contact your healthcare professional for guidance.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 04/2005

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