You are currently viewing Impaired Cough – Mnemonic

Here is a quick mnemonic “IMPAIRED COUGH to remember about Impaired Cough

This can be valuable for patients as well as medical doctors, nurses & students doing their clinical rounds. You can also find it very useful for med exams like USMLE, NExT Medical Step 1&2, MBBS, NEET PG, INI-CET, FMGE,MCAT & NCLEX exams

Impaired Cough : How To Remember Easily ?

  • I – Ineffective cough hinders secretion clearance in the respiratory tract, leading to increased susceptibility to infections.
  • M – Muscular weakness or paralysis of the expiratory muscles (abdominal and intercostal) and chest or abdominal pain contribute to impaired cough.
  • P – Peak expiratory flow or maximal expiratory pressure at the mouth can be used as indicators of cough strength.
  • A – Assistive devices and techniques ranging from simple (abdominal muscle splinting with a tightly held pillow) to complex (mechanical cough-assist device) are available to enhance cough efficacy.
  • I – In some cases, cough may not completely clear secretions due to abnormal airway secretions (e.g., cystic fibrosis), ciliary dysfunction (e.g., primary ciliary dyskinesia), or structural abnormalities (e.g., tracheomalacia).
  • R – Running the gamut of cough improvement techniques, these interventions aim to enhance cough function.
  • E – Excessive expiratory collapse of the trachea during cough can be caused by tracheomalacia, an example of structural airway abnormality.
  • D – Despite preserved expiratory velocities, cough may fail to clear secretions completely in certain conditions.
  • C – Cough strength, when compromised, predisposes individuals to more severe infections and their complications.
  • O– Overall, impaired cough can have significant implications for respiratory health and should be addressed appropriately.
  • U – Understanding the causes and consequences of impaired cough is crucial in providing effective interventions and management.
  • G – Generating a normal expiratory flow and pressure is essential for effective coughing.
  • H – Hence, it is important to identify and address the underlying factors contributing to impaired cough.


Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department