Liquids to thin mucus

  1. 0
    I have a question: I have commonly heard in the nursing community that if someone is congested, 'Oh give them some extra liquids ie. hot soup, hot tea, juice, etc.' What is the rationale behind this? I have heard it will 'thin the secretions'. But how?
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Well if i'm congested I breathe in hot steam to thin the secretions,don't know if taking in hot liquids works the same.
  4. 0
    I've always heard this as well. I thought the rationale had to do with being hydrated. The more hydrated you are then the thinner your secretions. However I wouldn't suggest this to a renal or CHFer.

    Tiger
  5. 0
    Ignatavicius and Workman's Medical-Surgical Nursing (5th ed., 2006) states: "Adequate hydration may help to thin secretions and make them easier to remove" (p. 637).

    So this seems to back up what the previous poster said about it being related to hydration. With that in mind, I wouldn't think it would matter if the fluids were warm or cool.
  6. 0
    Workman taught my med/surg class and we obviously used the book mentioned above (although, an earlier edition....). She's a smart lady and that textbook is excellent, so I agree with the above poster!
  7. 0
    That's what Mucinex does (guaifenesin). Draws water into your mucus membranes. And it works for all mucus membranes....as I used to use it as a fertility adjunct.


    But, if you can get some chicken soup down, instead of having to resort to a med, then all the better.
  8. 1
    I know that tea and coffee have a small amount of theophylline, which is a bronchodilator. I remember my med surg teacher telling us that it could help COPD patients a little- i.e. better than nothing

    I also saw a Quantum Leap episode, where Sam had a toddler with an Asthma attack (when he flashed back to the 60's) and made her drink cold coffee in a bottle (due to the theophylline) and BAM, she was better. THOUGH IT DOESN'T REALLY WORK THAT GREAT!
    Faeriewand likes this.
  9. 0
    I was caring for a hospice patient (been designated 3 months ago) with thick secretions. was told not to give levsin when mucous is thick only with excessive clear secretions. however another care giver gave the med before giving other meds because patient had previously propelled vomitus because of gerd. she said this would not happen to her and it didn't. my question is is this the best action for the patient?
  10. 0
    Quote from scribblerpnp
    I know that tea and coffee have a small amount of theophylline, which is a bronchodilator. I remember my med surg teacher telling us that it could help COPD patients a little- i.e. better than nothing

    I also saw a Quantum Leap episode, where Sam had a toddler with an Asthma attack (when he flashed back to the 60's) and made her drink cold coffee in a bottle (due to the theophylline) and BAM, she was better. THOUGH IT DOESN'T REALLY WORK THAT GREAT!
    I had an MD who RX coffee for pts in the ICU routinely to help with bronchodilation and thinning of secretions. My son was asthmatic and his pulmonologist also recommended coffee for him when he was having increased secretions!! Natural bronchodilators without all the meds.


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