Lung Flute Makes Breathing Easier For COPD Patients

First Posted: Sep 29, 2014 08:45 AM EDT

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can experience a boost in their health status and symptoms by using a respiratory device called Lung Flute. 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States and is usually caused by smoking. This includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In a latest report, researchers at the University of Buffalo found that by using the hand-held respiratory device called Lung Flute, patients with COPD notice improvement in symptoms as well as health status. 

Lung Flute is manufactured by the Medical Acoustics and uses sound waves to break the mucus present in the lungs. When the patients blow in to the respiratory device, the lungs' mucus gets cleared. The device produces a low frequency acoustic wave.

The study conducted over a period of 26 weeks show how patients with COPD using Lung Flute had less difficulty in breathing and also experience less coughing and sputum when compared to control group.

"This study confirms that the Lung Flute improves symptoms and health status in COPD patients, decreasing the impact of the disease on patients and improving their quality of life," said Sanjay Sethi, MD, principal author of the study.

This device is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat COPD and other lung diseases. It is also approved to obtain deep lung sputum samples. The researchers are currently looking to use the device for improving asthma symptoms. The device is also being investigated for diagnostic use in TB and lung cancer.

In this study, the researchers looked at 69 patients with COPD for six months. Several clinical trials were done to test the safety and efficacy of the device.

"This study confirms and extends the results of a previous, 8-week study of 40 patients that was conducted in 2010 to obtain FDA approval for the Lung Flute," said Sethi, whose clinical practice is at the Buffalo VA.

Improvement was marked based on the responses on the chronic COPD questionnaire that evaluates the changes in the symptoms as well as the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire that looks at the quality of life.

"Dr. Sethi is recognized as one of the leading COPD research professionals in the United States," Codella continues. "His research has resulted in the Lung Flute receiving FDA clearances for both obtaining deep lung sputum samples for diagnostic use and for airway clearance therapy as well as a series of Phase IV studies such as the one being reported this week."

The finding was documented in Clinical and Translational Medicine.

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