EFA (Expiratory Flow Accelerator) technology: a history

Introduction

MPR’s objective for this technology was to encompass the more demanding needs of patients who have increased secretions or reduced secretions clearance capacity, as they are more susceptible to an increased risk of infection: neuromuscular disease patients, as an example, with a significant hyposthenia in the respiratory muscles, and who have a reduced capacity to make a cough; the characteristics of dense and viscous secretions in Cystic Fibrosis patients impede their normal elimination and hyper- secretive COPD and Bronchiectasis patients needing airway clearance assistance. Starting from the premise that secretions are normally eliminated by acceleration in expiratory air flow, their latest patented technology EFA (Expiratory Flow Accelerator), working gently and more naturally with the pulmonary system’s own mechanisms, was developed after 3 years of research.

In developing EFA (Expiratory Flow Accelerator) technology MPR’s concurrent aim was to produce a therapy which removes secretions but without causing the patient to cough nor assisting the patient to cough as some pathologies cannot tolerate or do not need this:  patients who have increased difficulty in clearing secretions are those who have undergone cardiac or thoracic surgery but are not able to cough and clear secretions due to high pain levels.

Background

EFA (Expiratory Flow Accelerator) technology was incorporated into the FREE ASPIRE device, which was launched in the autumn of 2009 : broncho-pulmonary secretions  are removed non invasively without using a suction catheter. The secretions reach the upper airway in complete safety allowing the patient to expel or to ingest them if they are not able to eliminate them on their own. The patient is connected to a mouthpiece or mask. During the expiratory phase the air expelled by the patient is accelerated, which is produced by the venturi effect from the special connector. The acceleration is only activated during the expiratory phase and its entity is proportional to the flow of the expired air, according to the natural rhythm of the patient’s respiratory function. The non invasive action affects all the pulmonary system, including the alveoli and bronchiole, and has sufficient energy to drag the secretions towards the upper airways. The secretions, sliding onto the watery layer which covers the internal respiratory airway walls, are deposited first of all in the central bronchial area, then reaching the trachea, slide to the stomach over the oesophagus. No negative pressure is generated inside the lungs therefore there is no risk of airway collapse. The patient feels no sensation during the therapy session with the exception of an increase in salivation. FREE ASPIRE does not require an efficient cough and therefore is useful for patients with a weak cough reflex, including thoracic surgery, neuromuscular and paediatric patients.

Patients can tire easily with the effort required to eliminate secretions. However, as no extra respiratory effort or technique is required, FREE ASPIRE can be used as required, according to the patient’s clinician’s advice, in 15 minute sessions, without causing fatigue.

FREE ASPIRE is lightweight, easy to carry and is supplied complete with its own carrying bag and a single patient use patient circuit.

For full details of our clinical studies and publications please click on the tab on the FREE ASPIRE product page.