By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , /


Music DAN: Today we’re going to talk about
spirometry and no I’m not talking about that 70s geometric spiral toy that you
may have played with as a child. We’re talking about an innovative way to
measure asthma and today I’m with Rubi Abrol with The American Lung Association. Ruby
what do you do with the American Lung Association?
RUBY: I am the enhancing asthma care project manager for Texas. DAN: So tell me about
spirometry. What is that? RUBY: Spirometry is actually the
only evidence-based and guidelines based tool that we have confirmed diagnosis of
an obstructive lung disease such as asthma or COPD. DAN: Okay so let’s walk me through that for a second. What is it? What does it look
like and how to use it? RUBY: Now when I was doing my training spirometer were about
this big and now spirometer look they’re very, very small. Very easy to use. It’s a
little machine that could test how much air you can take in your lungs at
maximal effort dependent inhalation and how much air you can blow out. DAN: So it’s
really a measure of how well your lungs are bringing in and blowing out air,
for the most part. So tell me how that would help in asthma. RUBY: So what we’re
seeing in private practices and with physicians is that clinicians are making
a diagnosis of asthma based off of clinical judgment, clinical suspicion and
we’re seeing asthma being misdiagnosed. We often see it get misdiagnosed
as bronchitis. So by using spirometry these physicians can actually have a
confirmed diagnosis of asthma and then go off of what kind of medications are
needed. DAN: So it helps the diagnosis but I would also think that when patients are
on asthma medicine, can it be used to measure treatment? RUBY: Absolutely. DAN: So how does
that work? RUBY: So you’re a physician, if someone has asthma your physician should
be doing a spirometry test every six months to kind of see how you’re
responding, to control their medicine as if you are on one, and they can also look
at the level of obstruction in your lungs and titrate that medicine to make
sure that you’re getting the best dose for it. DAN: Okay so, we don’t script things
here on Blue Promise so I’m going to ask you something, can people do spirometry
at home? RUBY: No, no it’s an effort dependent test and we do not encourage people to
do spirometry at home. There are certain situations where people
can do it. We see that a lot in lung transplant patients but spirometer are
generally a machine of professional medical device that is used by
physicians and hospitals. DAN: Great, Ruby thanks for being here today. Thanks for
shedding some light on spirometry. Thanks for joining us for this episode of Blue
Promise.


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