HATTIE YOUNG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HATTIE YOUNG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A physiotherapist giving percussion treatment to a 3-year old cystic fibrosis patient. Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disease affecting the exocrine glands. One of the effects of this is the production of thick mucus in the bronchi. This causes the bronchi to expand (bronchiectasis) and leaves the patient open to secondary infection. Percussion on the chest and back loosens the mucus, which is coughed up. Antibiotics are used to combat secondary respiratory infections which may be severe.
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