Minnesota vest protocol (1245)

Key points below

What is the Minnesota vest protocol?

A protocol is a set way of doing something. The Minnesota Vest Protocol is a set way of using the Hill-Rom Vest machine. Most children are between 4 and 5 years old when starting this protocol. The protocol takes about 30 minutes.

What is a vest machine?

A vest machine is used to loosen mucus from the airways by shaking the chest. The machine connects with a hose to a vest. The vest is worn over the chest. The machine makes air pulses that shake the chest. Most often it is used by people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). 

Some Hill-Rom models can be set up to run the protocol. Call Hill-Rom customer support to see if your machine can be set this way. The phone number is on the machine.

How is the Minnesota vest protocol used?

1. Look at the chart below. Set the frequency to 8. Set the pressure to 10. Sometimes it is too hard for your child to breathe with a pressure of 10. If that happens, you will need to find your child’s Starting Pressure setting. See the directions on the next page.

2. Use each cycle for 4 minutes. 

3. At the end of each 4 minute cycle, press Pause on the vest machine to stop the shaking.

4. You child’s chest vest should deflate during the Pause. If it does not deflate remove one of the hoses to deflate it. This makes it easier to cough. 

5. Your child should do 2 to 3 huff coughs during each Pause and at the end of the treatment. Your child should try to spit out the mucous after they cough.

6. If your child uses nebulizer treatments, they may use them during the vest treatment. Talk with your provider about which nebulizers can be used. The nebulizer and vest can be started at the same time.

**If the pressure of 10 is too hard to breathe, use your child’s Starting Pressure 

Find your child’s starting pressure:

1. Set the Frequency to 8 and the Pressure to 6.

2. Turn ON the vest machine.

3. After a minute or two, turn the Pressure to 7.

4. After a minute or two, turn the Pressure to 8. 

5. Slowly turn the pressure up by one number at a time until your child tells you it is hard to breathe. Then decrease the pressure by 1.  

6. This is your child’s Starting Pressure.  It should be easy for your child to breathe at this starting pressure.  

7. The highest pressure setting on the machine is 10.

For other health and wellness information, check out this resource: https://kidshealth.org/ChildrensWi/en/parents


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.