It is very normal to cough and clear secretions throughout the day. With continued use of an HME, these secretions should become more manageable. Many patients notice the amount of secretions diminishes and they become less thick. This will not happen overnight and several weeks may be required to notice this change.
When mucous is coughed, it will rest against the back of the HME cassette were plastic bars known as “mucous guards” are preventing the mucous from deeply penetrating the foam. When this happens, it may become difficult to breath until the mucous is removed. It is important, therefore, to clear the mucous from the HME cassette as often as necessary to ensure you are breathing comfortable and your secretions are well managed.
Proper Cleaning of the HME:
Remove the cassette, holding the housing firmly in place so as not to dislodge in any way.
Using a tissue or soft cloth, simply wipe the mucous off the cassette.
A soft toothbrush can be used to help clear thicker mucous if necessary.
NEVER RUN YOUR HME CASSETTE UNDER WATER, NEVER IMMERSE IN WATER This will wash out the salt (an antimicrobial component) that is essential for the HME functionality.
The SLP staff can assist you with any questions you have in this regard.
Updated Oct 18, 2013
Copyright 2011-2013 Katrina M. Jensen, M.A., CCC-SLP, PLLC