Fact Sheet: Spirometry Screening

Lung Function Test

Workers are exposed to a variety of environmental irritants over the course of their employment. Exposure to environmental dust, fumes and other inhaled substances can cause the lung’s defense mechanisms to become overloaded and worn out leading to damage in the tissue and structures within the lung matrix.

Lung restriction and Lung obstruction can be caused by overexposure to certain substances and chemicals.

  • Lung Restriction – The term used to refer to decreased elastic properties of the lung. This restricts the overall volume capacity of the lung.
  • Lung Obstruction – The narrowing of the airways within the lung. This leads to a decrease in the rate at which air may pass through these airways.

 

Spirometry Screening

Spirometry (lung function test) is a common test used to assess how well lungs work by measuring how much air is inhaled as well as how much and how quickly air is exhaled.

3 values will be generated and entered to the software in order to analyse lung function:

  • Forced vital capacity (FVC) – This is the largest amount of air that you can forcefully exhale after breathing in as deeply as you can. A lower than normal FVC reading indicates restricted breathing.
  • Forced expiratory volume (FEV1) – This is how much air you can force from your lungs in one second. This reading helps your doctor assess the severity of your breathing problems. Lower FEV1 readings indicate more significant obstruction.
  • Peak expiratory flow (PEF) – Also called peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), is a person’s maximum speed of expiration.

 

Results

The software will automatically calculate a result based on the GLI 2012 calculation algorithm built into the system. This calculation relies on the values of FEV1, FVC and PEFR that are entered by our assessors and utilises the baseline information for the worker, to calculate predicted values.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

 

To learn more about Spirometry testing and Health Surveillance, contact us today.