Taking a Spirometry Test

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

Hi – my name is Tony Punturieri and I am a program officer in the Division of Lung
Diseases at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute – NHLBI. The main diagnostic test for COPD is called
spirometry. Spirometry is a lung function test that assesses
how much air goes in and out of your lungs and how fast it does so. You should ask your health care provider to
test you with spirometry if you are over 40 and you are a smoker or an ex-smoker; if you
are out of breath or if you cough very frequently, bringing up a lot of mucus; and generally,
if you are concerned for your lung health or if you are already diagnosed with a lung
disease. Spirometry is a very sensitive test and can
catch a lung disease at its very early stages. Hi, welcome to the pulmonary function lab. I’m Mark and I’ll be doing your spirometry
today. So, on this test we will ask you to exert
yourself so I want you to be comfortable And we don’t want any clothing that is going
to restrict your chest expansion or your performance. So, if you want to take your jacket off and
make yourself comfortable. – Sure. And I’ll ask you to have a seat here. So, we are primarily measuring the total amount
of air you can blow out but also, we are measuring how fast you can blow it out. We are trying to measure that maximum amount
you can blow out in the first second. So after you get on the mouthpiece and put
the nose clips on, I’ll ask you to begin with a few normal breaths and then at a certain
point I’ll ask you to take a fast deep breath all the way in and I’ll tell you to blast
it out and I want you to immediately blow it out as hard and as fast as you can and
we have certain flow and volume criteria that we have to meet so even after you blow it
out and you feel like you may be empty I’ll still coach you to keep blowing, keep pushing,
keep going, keep going. And after a few seconds I’ll ask you to
take another fast, deep breath back in and then I’ll ask you to come off the mouthpiece. So, let’s go ahead and try it. Go ahead and put the nose clips on; we want
to be sure that you can’t breathe through your nose. And this mouthpiece is like a snorkeling mouthpiece
so I need your lips over the outside portion of it and your teeth go behind it, teeth biting
down on the two tabs. And just want to be sure your tongue is not
including the hole in the mouthpiece. And just want you to begin with some normal
breathing. All right, and now take a fast, deep breath
in and blast it out! Keep blowing, keep blowing, keep going, you’re
doing great! Keep going, keep pushing out, keep pushing,
keep pushing. Take a fast, deep breath all the way back
in. That’s great you can come off that mouth
piece and take those nose clips off. As you can see, spirometry is an easy test
to take. Talk to your provider about spirometry. (SFX MUSIC)

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