Discharge Instructions for Bronchiectasis

You have been diagnosed with bronchiectasis. This occurs when your bronchial tubes (the tubes that carry air in your lungs) become wider than normal. When the airways are wider than normal, they can become blocked with mucus. When this happens, infection can occur. You are most likely to get bronchiectasis if you have cystic fibrosis or another lung disease. It can also be caused by smoking, breathing in foreign objects such as food, or lung infections that keep coming back. Here’s what you can do to feel better.

How to say it


Break the smoking habit

  • Enroll in a stop-smoking program to increase your chances of success.

  • Ask your healthcare provider about medicines or other methods to help you quit.

  • Ask family members and friends to quit smoking as well.

  • Don’t allow smoking in your home, car, or around you.

  • In public places, stay away from secondhand smoke.

Other home care

  • Learn percussion and postural drainage. Do it 2 to 3 times a day. Ask your healthcare provider for directions.

  • Learn to do controlled breathing. Ask your healthcare provider for directions.

  • Take your medicine exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses or take double doses.

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.

  • Exercise within your healthcare provider's guidelines.

  • Unless told otherwise, drink at least 8 glasses of fluid every day to thin mucus and secretions.

  • Stay at a healthy weight. Ask your provider for help to lose any extra pounds.

  • Get a flu shot every year. Ask your healthcare provider about pneumonia vaccines.

  • Stay away from allergens, pollution, and dust.

  • Get medical care right away for infections.

  • Think about installing a home air-conditioning system with a filter and humidity control.

  • Consider joining a support group or seeing a professional counselor. People with chronic lung conditions are more likely to have depression and anxiety.

Follow-up care

Talk with your healthcare provider about getting flu and pneumococcal vaccines. Make a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

Call 911

Call 911 right away if you have

  • Chest pain or tightness in the chest

  • Shortness of breath that doesn't get better after taking medicine

  • Skin or lips are blue, purple, or gray in color

  • Problems talking or swallowing

  • Feeling faint

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of the following occur:

  • Fever of 100.4°F ( 38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Yellow, green, bloody, or smelly mucus

  • Symptoms that get worse or new symptoms

  • More than normal amount of mucus

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