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Assisted Cough

Assisted cough

If your cough is weak and if it is difficult to bring up mucus or you know you have lots of mucus, you need an assisted cough. In an assisted cough, another person pushes on your chest to help you cough. An assisted cough is done while you are sitting up in a bed or chair. If you are in a wheelchair, be sure to put the brakes on.

  • Your caregiver places the heel of one hand on your abdomen just above your navel and places the other hand on top of the first hand. He or she interlocks the fingers so that they are pulled away from your body.
  • The caregiver keeps his or her elbows straight.
  • You take a deep breath and hold it.
  • You cough while your caregiver pushes upward and under your rib cage, one time. It may take practice to coordinate your cough with the motion.

If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor before using an assisted cough. Most specialists do not recommend using an assisted cough for pregnant women, especially in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

Current as of: December 13, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Nancy Greenwald MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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