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Spirometry and Oximetry


What is it?

Spirometry is a pulmonary function test and measures your lung function. This includes the amount (volume) and/or speed (flow) of air that can be inhaled and exhaled. This test is used to help identify asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions that affect breathing. Oximetry is also tested and is non-invasive procedure to measure the amount of oxygen in your blood.

How is it done?

The Practice Nurse will ask you to place a clip-like device over your finger to allow the light to measure the oxygen in your blood. You will then be asked you wear a nose-clip placed on your nose to keep your nostrils closed. The nurse will programme the spirometer and you will take a deep breath in and exhale as quickly and hard as you can into a tube for as long as you can.

Usually, the test is repeated three times to ensure acceptability and reproducibility is meet.

Pre and post-bronchodilator spirometry test may be required. This is used to evaluate the effectiveness of a bronchodilator/inhaler. This is administered by the nurse and the test is repeated.

Once the results have been obtained, they will be analysed by a cardiologist/respiratory physician and the results will be forwarded to you and your referring Doctor. Please allow 30-45 minutes for this test.

What to wear?
Wear loose clothing that will not interfere with your ability to take a deep breath.

Is there any preparation required?

Please avoid eating a large meal before your test, as this will allow you to breathe easier. If you are on inhalers, please refrain from taking them for a minimum of 2 hours.

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