High Frequency
Chest Wall Oscillation

What is High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation?

High frequency chest wall oscillation therapy creates a pressure difference between the outside of the body and the lungs by delivering high frequency vibration generated by an air vibration generator to the chest wall through the vest worn by the patient. It is one of the airway clearance therapy methods that helps to separate and discharge lung secretions (mucus secretions) in the airways.

It is used in cases where it is difficult to voluntarily discharge lung secretions, such as facilitating the discharge of lung secretions, functional deterioration of the lungs and chest muscles, and muscle paralysis after chest surgery.

high frequency chest wall

How does a HFCWO work?

  • The cylinder repeatedly compresses and expands at a high speed, generating high frequency air vibration waves

  • The high frequency air vibration waves are transmitted to the air vest through the hose

  • The chest wall is subjected to rapid and repeated compression and relief, and the same force is applied to the lungs as well.

  • The lung tissue vibrates

  • The contracting force of the vest causes air compression in the lungs, causing a “staccato cough” in patients.

  • The viscoelasticity and stringiness of lung secretions (sputum) are physically reduced, and shearing effect occurs on respiratory mucus.

  • Lung secretions are separated and pushed up to the upper respiratory tract.

  • It can be easily removed by spitting out by the patient or by suction.

Why need a HFCWO therapy?

The chest muscles or diaphragm do not function normally when there is damage to the chest muscles, nervous system abnormalities, lung resection, or chest resection. The discharge of pulmonary secretions becomes difficult as well as breathing through the lungs. In this case, it becomes difficult to discharge secretions from the capillaries and bronchioles through normal body action. If the pulmonary secretions are not continuously discharged, they can accumulate in the lungs or airways and cause inflammation. As the inflammation becomes aggravated, the defense ability of the lungs continuously decreases, increasing the possibility of exacerbating lung diseases. This re-activates the inflammatory response of the lungs and reduces the ability of the lung cells to defend against foreign chemicals, which again induces the accumulation of pulmonary secretions and creates a vicious cycle that causes airway obstruction. In order to break this vicious cycle, an effective discharge method of lung secretions must be preceded. The high frequency chest wall oscillation therapy is being actively studied and researched as the most effective airway clearance method.