Eastham Group Practice

47 Bridle Road, Bromborough, CH62 6EE | Telephone: 0151 327 1391 | cmicb-wi.gatekeeper-n85005@nhs.net

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Pre-test information

If you have an upcoming spirometry appointment, please read the following information prior to attending your test, and:

  • Contact the practice if you believe there are any reasons you should not do the test (see the list of health conditions below)
  • Be aware that we ask you to avoid using some inhalers up to 24 hours prior the test (unless you particularly need to use one)

What is spirometry?

Spirometry is a simple test to help diagnose and monitor some lung and airway conditions. It measures how much air, and how quickly, you can breathe out. It is completed using a device called a spirometer, which is a small machine attached by a cable to a hand-held mouthpiece. Results often need to be looked at by the clinician who referred you for the test before they can be shared with you.

You can find more information about the test here: Spirometry – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

How should I prepare for the test?

  • Unless you are particularly struggling with your breathing, please avoid using long-acting (preventer) inhalers 24 hours prior to the test & reliever inhalers (salbutamol) 6 hours prior to the test
  • Refrain from smoking in the 24 hours prior to the test
  • Refrain from consuming alcohol, or any other intoxicant, on the day of the test
  • Avoid exercising vigorously or eating a large meal in the 2 hours prior to the test
  • Wear comfortable clothes that do not constrict your chest/breathing
  • If you have been prescribed GTN spray to treat angina, bring this with you to the test

Are there any reasons why I should not do the test?

Because spirometry increases pressures in the head and upper body, the clinician conducting the test will need to know if you have any of the following conditions so that your test can be completed safely (or re-arranged).  Please contact the practice to inform us if any of the following conditions apply to you:

  • Chest infection or covid symptoms/positive test in the last 6 weeks
  • Current illness (nausea, pain, infection, light-headedness etc.)
  • Aneurysm
  • Recent collapsed lung (pneumothorax) with less than 2 weeks since treatment
  • Uncontrolled high or low blood pressure
  • Recently coughed up blood
  • Recent blood clot in a lung (pulmonary embolus) that has not yet been treated
  • Untreated or unstable heart condition (including angina or heart rhythm disturbances)
  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction) in the last 2 months
  • Eye, head, chest, or abdominal surgery in the last 3 months
  • Stroke (including TIA) in the last 3 months
  • Recent concussion with ongoing symptoms

What does the test involve?

Prior to the test, you will be asked to complete a consent form and answer some questions about your health.

Once in the clinic room, your appointment should last between 20-45 minutes. Sometimes, the test may need to be repeated around 15 minutes after taking some inhaled bronchodilator medicine. You’ll be able to go home soon after and return to your normal activities.

You will be sat during the test and a soft clip will be placed on your nose. Guided by the clinician, you will be asked to perform two techniques. Both involve inhaling and exhaling fully, with different levels of force required for each technique. The techniques will need to be repeated several times to ensure a reliable result.

Are there any risks?

Spirometry is a safe test with very few risks involved, unless you have any of the conditions listed in the next section. It can be normal to feel dizzy, short of breath, tired, or a little shaky immediately after performing each test. However, this should improve after a few minutes of resting. The clinician conducting the test will check how you are feeling throughout and you should tell them if you feel unwell or want to stop.


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    08:00am to 06:00pm
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