If your cough
is weak and if it is difficult to bring up mucus or you know you have lots of
mucus, you need an assisted cough. In an assisted cough, another person pushes
on your chest to help you cough. An assisted cough is done while you are
sitting up in a bed or chair. If you are in a wheelchair, be sure to put the
Your caregiver places the heel of one hand on
your abdomen just above your navel and places the other hand on top of the
first hand. He or she interlocks the fingers so that they are pulled away from
The caregiver keeps his or her elbows
You take a deep breath and hold it.
cough while your caregiver pushes upward and under your rib cage, one time. It
may take practice to coordinate your cough with the motion.
If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor before using an
assisted cough. Most specialists do not recommend using an assisted cough for
pregnant women, especially in the second and third trimesters of
Primary Medical Reviewer
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Nancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.