In tutorial 1, we explore how to do the test properly, including how to prepare the patient for the test, how to instruct the patient to get the best results, and when to finish testing.
- The vital capacity is the measurement from MAXIMAL inspiration to MAXIMAL expiration. When that breath is expelled steadily this is a relaxed vital capacity, and when that breath is exhaled forcefully, this is the forced vital capacity. Although performed at different speeds, these measurements are the same.
- A patient’s height measurement is one of the most important details that we need to input into the spirometer before we start testing, to ensure the patient is compared to their normal population.
- When performing spirometry, the patient should be given clear and well-timed instructions, and this comes with practice.
- The relaxed and forceful vital capacity manoeuvres should be performed at least three times, achieving three good quality measurements within 5% or 100ml of each other.