WELCOME TO THE PULMONARY FUNCTION LAB
In the Pulmonary Function Lab at Chester County Hospital each patient receives comprehensive testing and evaluation as well as individualized education and treatment recommendations. Our team of Pulmonary Function Therapists, registered and certified in Respiratory Therapy and Pulmonary Function, work with referring physicians to provide a continuum of care to patients from testing to diagnosis and treatment.
Who is Appropriate for Pulmonary Function Testing?
There are many reasons for Pulmonary Function Testing, but the most common include the analysis of patients experiencing symptoms and signs of lung disease, coughing, shortness of breath, low oxygen levels, wheezing, or recurrent bronchitis. Testing is also useful to monitor the effectiveness of therapy, the progression of a disease, to establish a baseline fitness level for patients, to screen patients at risk for pulmonary disease as well as testing prior to surgery.
During the testing process patients are provided with education and training on pulmonary topics relevant to their condition (e.g. COPD, asthma, emphysema, sarcoidosis, pulmonary fibrosis, etc.). Education and training includes use of inhalers, medications, breathing exercises and smoking cessation. The Pulmonary Function team also takes part in community screenings and educational events upon request.
The Pulmonary Function Lab is located on the ground floor of the pavilion and is accessible via the main entrance. Please stop at the Information Desk for directions to Pre-Procedure Testing or follow the signs. Check in at the Registrar’s Desk.
Types of Pulmonary Function Tests
- SPIROMETRY: A simple breathing test that evaluates a patient's lung function by measuring airflow into and out of the lungs.
- SPIROMETRY PRE/POST BRONCHODILATOR: Determines a patient's response to specific bronchodilator therapy indicated with chronic cough or chest tightness, suspect asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
- FLOW-VOLUME LOOP: A common practice of charting expiratory (breathing out) flow rates against lung volumes; the link between flow rates to lung volume produces a typical Flow-volume curve. The Flow-volume loop is helpful in evaluating patients with cough and shortness of breath.
- LUNG VOLUMES: Lung volumes measure different parts of the breath to determine how much air a patient can breathe in and out. Lung volumes are obtained through Plethysmography, where a patient sits in an enclosed clear chamber and is asked to perform a series of very small panting breaths. Lung volumes are used to determine the airways resistance and conductance in the lungs in addition to whether there is retained air in lungs (airtrapping).
- DIFFUSION CAPACITY (DLCO): Measures how well gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide move from the lungs to the blood and back to the lungs.
- BRONCHIAL CHALLENGE / PROVOCATION: This test is performed to determine the presence of Asthma. Patients are asked to inhale different dosages of a bronchoconstrictor and repeat spirometry testing after each dose. Patients are monitored closely and given medication to reverse any symptoms that may occur.
- MAXIMAL RESPIRATORY PRESSURES: This measures the force of air coming from the lungs with a device in the mouth. Assesses and quantifies the degree of respiratory muscular weakness that may occur with neuromuscular diseases.
- IMPULSE OSCILLOMETRY: This also measures lung volumes with much less effort without the enclosed chamber for children, patients that are unable to pant and claustrophobic patients.
- OXIMETRY: This non-invasive test determines the amount of oxygen in the blood at rest along with your resting heart rate.
- OXIMETRY WITH EXERCISE (Six Minute Walk): This non-invasive test determines the amount of oxygen in the blood by comparing resting Pulse Oximetry levels to those of increased activity levels. This test is also used to determine if a patient requires oxygen
and the amount of oxygen needed with rest and exercise.
- ARTERIAL BLOOD GASES (ABG's): A blood test that measures the levels of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide levels in the blood. This test evaluates the ability of the lungs to move oxygen in and carbon dioxide out of the blood.
- CARDIO-PULMONARY STRESS TEST: This stress exercise test on a bicycle is performed for patients that present with shortness of breath, chest pain and/or fatigue with activity. It provides important information about what may limit your ability to exercise and determines if it is the heart, lungs or deconditioning that is causing your symptoms.
- TEST INTERPRETATION: Test interpretation is provided by a Board Certified and Licensed Pulmonary Physician. Test results are sent to referring physicians and primary care physicians.
LOCATION and CONTACT INFORMATION
|Chester County Hospital
Pavilion Ground, Room PG-130
701 East Marshall Street
West Chester, Pa. 19380