Incentive spirometry is designed to mimic natural sighing or yawning by encouraging the patient to take long, slow, deep breaths.(1,2,4,5) This is accomplished by using a device that provides patients with visual or other positive feedback when they inhale at a predetermined flowrate or volume and sustain the inflation for a minimum of 3 seconds.(2,3,5-7).
The objectives of this procedure are to increase transpulmonary pressure and inspiratory volumes, improve inspiratory muscle perfor-mance,8 and re-establish or simulate the normal pattern of pulmonary hyperinflation.3 When the procedure is repeated on a regular basis, airway patency may be maintained and lung atelectasis prevented and reversed.(1-3,5,6,9,10)