Respiratory Assessment

What does Frome Medical Practice offer?

Frome Medical Practice offers respiratory assessment to patients, where appropriate. A respiratory assessment is carried out at an appointment that lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Before the respiratory test appointment

It is important to avoid the following before your test appointment: 

  • Smoking - 24 hours before your appointment
  • Vigorous exercise - 30 minutes before your appointment
  • Eating a large meal - 2 hours before your appointment
  • Drinking alcohol or caffeine - 4 hours before your appointment
  • Do not wear any tight clothing that may restrict your breathing

If you use inhalers or nebulisers for your breathing, please try not to use them as follows:

  • Spiriva or Eklira - 36 hours before the test
  • Serevent, Oxis/foradil, Symbicort, Seretide, Fostair - 24 hours before the test
  • Atrovent - 6 hours before the test 
  • Ventolin or Bricanyl - 4 hours before the test
  • Your GP or Nurse will advise regarding any other inhalers you might be taking

If you are too breathless without using these inhalers then it is important to continue to use them leading up to the test.

Please continue to take all other prescribed medication as normal.

The spirometry test should not be carried out if you have had any of the following:

  • Current chest infection or within 6 weeks of recovering from a chest infection
  • Recent eye surgery – within 3 months
  • Recent abdominal surgery – within 3 months
  • Aneurism
  • Stroke – within 3 months
  • Heart attack – within 3 months
  • Unstable angina
  • Recent pneumothorax
  • If you are coughing up blood (with unknown cause)

If you are unwell on the day of the test, please cancel and re-book the appointment when you have been well for 4 weeks. Call the cancellation line on 01373 301301 to do this. 

For your comfort please empty your bladder before the test.

What happens at the respiratory assessment appointment?

First of all we will record your height and weight and your blood pressure might be taken. 

We then measure how your lungs are working, usually using something called a spirometry test. This is the most common lung function test and is done using a machine called a spirometer, which measures how well your lungs work. This test is often used to help diagnose and monitor lung conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

The test is very simple and is nothing to be concerned about. You will be asked to breathe in fully, to seal your lips around the mouthpiece of the spirometer and to then perform a relaxed blow. This is then repeated peforming a forced blow. We may ask you to use a nose clip for this test to ensure no air escapes from your nose. 

We will explain to you during the test exactly how to do the relaxed and forced blows. 

Each test is carried out three times, with a rest inbetween each one. 

Once this part of the test has been carried out you will then use the inhaler you've been prescribed and have brought with you, which may 'open up' your airways. The spirometry test is then repeated after 15-20 minutes and allows us to see if your airways open wider with the help of the medication or not.