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Incentive inspirometer

Mechanical device that helps the patient maintain maximal inspiratory effort. Technique that uses a visual incentive (two or three balls that rise when the patient breathes in or out) that conditions the achievement of maximum inspiratory effort.


– Help mobilize and eliminate secretions produced in the respiratory tract. – Prevent the development of atelectacsias and pneumonias. – Improve pulmonary ventilation. – Educate the patient and family in the performance of respiratory exercises and the use of the inspirometer.


– An inspirometer. – Nursing records.


– Preserve the patient’s privacy. – Inform the patient of the procedure to be followed.

– Request the collaboration of the patient and family. – Place the patient in a seated or semi-fowler position. – Teach the patient how to use the inspirometer: 1º Hold the inspirometer vertically and Exhale slowly. 2º Put the mouthpiece in the mouth, between the teeth. 3rd Close your lips around the mouthpiece. 4º Breathe in through your mouth only, slowly and deeply (if you have difficulty breathing through your mouth only, use a nose clip). 5º Hold your breath 3-5 seconds. 6º Make the marker (ball) rise when breathing in and hold it for as long as possible. 7º Remove the mouthpiece and expel the air through the mouth or nose slowly. – Repeat 4-5 times per hour, resting at night. – Encourage coughing after using the inspirometer. – Clean the mouthpiece with water and let it dry. – Place the patient in the most appropriate position. – Record in nursing documentation: procedure, reason, date and time, incidences, and patient’s response.


– The incentive inspirometer is contraindicated in: pulmonary hemorrhages. – Discontinue use of the inspirometer if vertigo or dizziness appears.

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