Hospital tests

2) The Spirometry test

This test will be similar to the simple breathing tests carried out by GP or practice nurse. In Hospital, the physiologist will use a much bigger machine, but the test is very simple and straight forward.

  • Your height and weight are accurately measured.
  • You sit upright with feet on floor on a chair with arms.
  • You breathe in fully and then BLAST!!! out as hard and as fast as possible for as long as possible.
  • You then breathe in as fully and deeply as possible.
  • This test will be repeated at least 3 times, but possibly up to 8 times to get accurate reliable results. This then produces a graph called the Flow-volumes loop.

The following film shows a person doing a spirometry test.

(Running time: 1 minute 41 seconds, video provided by NHS Lothian Respiratory MCN)