The Vicious Cycle of Infection

When mucus is unable to be cleared from the lungs, it builds up and creates an environment in which bacteria can grow. This may lead to repeated, serious lung infections, which cause more damage to the airways of the lungs and can become a vicious cycle of infection. This cycle may lead to irreversible lung damage and respiratory failure.​

The Impact of Bronchiectasis

More Patients Are Suffering

Bronchiectasis can frequently occur in parallel with more common forms of chronic lung disease including COPD and asthma. Research on Bronchiectasis COPD Overlap Syndrome is emerging. The increased availability of computed tomography (CT) has shown that up to 50% of patients with Severe COPD will have coexistent Bronchiectasis.1,2

In a recent study, 92.7% (164 patients) of COPD patients with >2 exacerbations or at least 1 hospitalization/year had bronchiectasis.3

Impaired Airway Clearance

Maintenance of airway secretion clearance, or airway hygiene, is important for the preservation of airway patency and the prevention of respiratory tract infection. Impaired airway clearance often prompts admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and can be a cause and/or contributor to acute respiratory failure and other pulmonary complications.​ See the factsheet to find out how Impaired Airway Clearance impacts the Asia-Pacific regions.

To break the vicious cycle, Hillrom Respiratory Health offers a portfolio of products designed to help mobilize and evacuate retained secretions and mucus from the airways. ​


Pathophysiology of Ineffective Airway Clearance​

See how ineffective airway clearance may lead to disease progression

Look for more information related to airway clearance 

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  1.    Patel IS, Vlahos I, Wilkinson TM, et al. Bronchiectasis, exacerbation indices, and inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2004;170:400–7.
  2.    Garcia M, et al. Prognostic Value of Bronchiectasis in Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2013;187:823-8.
  3.    Kosmas E MD, et al. Metropolitan Hospital, Neo Faliro, Greece. Bronchiectasis in Patients With COPD: (2017). An Irrelevant Imaging Finding or a Clinically Important Phenotype? DOI: 

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