In the United States, the pulmonary complications of cystic fibrosis, including asthma, airway obstruction, bronchiolitis, mucus plugging, and pneumonia, are the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in children who have the disorder. This author describes the use of heliox in a 15-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis, a chronic genetic disorder that affects the exocrine glands, results in the production of excessive, thick mucus that obstructs the gastrointestinal tract and the lungs. Cystic fibrosis affects approximately 1 in 3500 white children and 1 in 12000 nonwhite children every year.11,(p1626) In the United States, the pulmonary complications of cystic fibrosis, including asthma, airway obstruction, bronchiolitis, mucus plugging, and pneumonia, are the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in children who have the disorder.11 (p1627)

Traditionally, therapy for pulmonary complications of...

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