Spirometers refer to special devices used to determine the function of the lungs and airways of human beings. They are commonly referred to as differential transducers with the ability to accurately measure the rate at which respiration occurs in individuals. It records the rate and amount of air inspired and expired within a specified period of time. This device has helped to improve the manner in which lungs function in a many of patients.
The spirometer is a component of the highly specialized equipment used to administer simple Pulmonary function Tests (PFTs). Most physicians use this device while conducting preliminary tests to rule out the incidence of various lung diseases including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema from these initial tests. It is also an important tool used in the assessing various scenarios such as the effect that different contaminants have on the functioning of the lungs, the progress made while treating a certain disease, effect of the different medications and in establishing the various causes of shortness of breath.
There are a number of different types of spirometers. Each of them has special features to improve the nature of results obtained. The whole body plethysmograph allows physicians to conduct the process with greater precision compared with the other types. The patent being investigated is usually enclosed in a small area during the procedure.
The basic principle behind the operation of the pneumotachometer is the venturi effect. This refers to the physical phenomena in which gases and dynamic fluids accelerate as they pass through narrow openings as their pressure decreases. It determines the difference in pressure before and after capillaries or a membrane of known resistance. The two types of pneumotachometers are the Lilly type and the Fleisch pneumotachometer.
Improved technology has led to the creation of spirometers that are fully electronic. These advanced machines are capable of computing the rate at which air flows in channels without the involvement of a fine mesh or a moving part. The main idea involved is the use of ultrasound transducers to measure these parameters in the different channels. The main advantages of using it include the improved patient hygiene and the minimum errors involved.
Spirometry includes a variety of different tests. The Forced Vital Capacity test is the most important of these tests. It is performed by requesting the patient to take in a deep breath and expire in the spirometer for a given number of times. The results are then presented in terms of peak expiratory flow, volume time loop, FVC, flow volume loop, FEV1, tiffeneau index among other parameters. It also plays an essential role in the diagnosis of several pulmonary diseases and in monitoring respiratory health problems occurring in various work stations.
There are different types in the market. There are several guidelines designed to help buyers make an informed choice when making purchases. Some of the factors that need much consideration include the cost of the different accessories, precision and accuracy, whether calibration is necessary, the type of after sales services provided, ease with which cleaning and maintenance among others.
Today, spirometers have become very common mainly because of the increased cases chronic respiratory conditions. These are diagnostic tools for detecting respiratory illnesses and asthma. These instruments play a major role in the health sector.
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