Spirometry

For those patients who exhibit breathing problems, spirometry is essential in determining lung function, specifically speed and volume of the air which can be inhaled and exhaled. There are a number of supplies needed for the tests to determine if a patient exhibits the symptoms of conditions like COPD and asthma.

Peak flow meters are an essential part of spirometry in measuring the flow of air as it is expelled from the lungs. A peak flow meter is an easy way to track the progress of care for a respiratory condition. They’re generally inexpensive and easy to use, but there are a couple of choices in selecting the appropriate peak flow meter. A mechanical peak flow measures the velocity of the air being expelled out of her lungs, also called the Peak Expiratory Flow or PEF. A Digital Asthma Monitor also measures PEF, in addition to the volume of air expelled within the first second, referred to as Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second.

A full range of accessories are available in order to assist in using a peak flow meter. A spirometry mouthpiece is just that; a patient puts his/her mouth around the piece in order to breathe into the meter. To avoid contamination, most mouthpieces are disposable and are available in pediatric and adult sizes. They also feature a one-way valve to prevent breathing back into the meter while testing.

Nose clips are important to seal the nose and force all of the air out through the mouth while testing. They also prevent breathing back in through the nose, and thereby adversely affecting the reporting. Most are plastic and latex-free and have either foam or rubber clips for patient comfort.

Spirometry plays an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory conditions. With the right equipment and accessories a care giver or medical professional can ensure the patient is making progress in their treatment.