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Postural Drainage

Positions Used for Postural Drainage

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Updated February 06, 2010

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Postural drainage is an airway clearance technique that, along with chest percussion and vibration, helps patients with respiratory illnesses like COPD clear mucus from their lungs.

The following diagrams show a variety of postural drainage positions that are meant to facilitate drainage from each specific segment of the lung. In each picture, the shaded black dots demonstrate the place where your caregiver should apply chest percussion (a clapping movement that is performed with cupped hands) and vibration (a vibrating movement done with flat hands).

Images 1-12 of 12
Lungs Lung AnatomyHand Position for Chest PercussionChest PercussionHand Position for VibrationVibrationUpper Lobe Apical SegmentsPosition #1
Upper Lobe Posterior SegmentsPosition #2Upper Lobe Anterior SegmentsPosition #3Lingula Postural DrainagePosition #4Postural Drainage of the Middle Lobe Position #5
Postural Drainage of the Anterior Basal SegmentsPosition #6 and #7Postural Drainage of the Posterior Basal SegmentsPosition #8Postural Drainage of the Lower Lobes Lateral Basal SegmentsPosition #9 and #10Postural Drainage of the Lower Lobes Superior SegmentsPosition #11
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