Vest Therapy (High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation)

The “vest” is a machine that is made up of two parts: an air-pulse generator and an inflatable vest that wraps completely around the chest. The air pulse generator creates rapid bursts of air that make the vest inflate and deflate against the chest wall. 

The vibration of the vest against the chest wall helps to loosen mucus. The vest creates an airflow that helps to move mucus from the airway walls. For therapy to be effective, Huff Cough and regular coughing must be done during and after the treatments.  

  • Put the vest on over a thin layer of clothing
  • Adjust the shoulder straps so that the vest covers as much of the upper chest as possible (but without digging into your child's armpits)
  • The bottom of the vest should extend to just above the hip bones
  • Adjust the closure clasps so that when your child takes in a deep breath, a hand can fit comfortably between the chest and the vest
  • Press the ON button to inflate the vest
    • As the vest inflates, grab the bottom of the vest with both hands and pull down to prevent the vest from sliding up and digging into your child's armpits

To avoid problems with your child's stomach, try to do vest treatments before meals or no sooner than one hour after meals.

Do your vest treatments two times a day – once in the morning when getting up, then again in the afternoon or evening.

Increase vest treatments to four times a day whenever your child is sick (or feels he / she may be getting sick).

Medications that may be given during vest treatments include albuterol, Xopenex, Atrovent, Intal, Pulmozyme and hypertonic saline.  

Some patients find it helpful to moisten their airway secretions by taking nebulizer treatments with normal or hypertonic saline after other medications are complete.

If itching occurs, try a couple of cotton T-shirts between the skin and the vest.

Have the vest machine and inflatable vest evaluated yearly to ensure it is working properly and that your child has the correct vest size.  

  • Keep your vest clean and free of mucus and other debris
  • Wipe it down with a disposable sanitizing cloth as needed

Last Updated 10/2012