WMH Auxiliary Supports Lung Function Testing Technology
The Waupun Memorial Hospital (WMH) Auxiliary is helping to enhance care through new technology at the hospital thanks to its donation to Cardiopulmonary Services and Agnesian Work & Wellness.
The state-of-the-art technology is being used to test lung function in patients while at the hospital or as an outpatient. Agnesian Work & Wellness works with area businesses to help monitor their employees’ lung function in jobs that require respirator use, such as fire fighters, painters and power plant workers.
Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are noninvasive diagnostic tests that provide measurable feedback about the function of the lungs. By assessing lung volumes, capacities, rates of flow and gas exchange, PFTs provide information that, when evaluated by a healthcare provider, can help diagnosis certain lung disorders – like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, emphysema and fibrosis.
Thanks to the WMH Auxiliary donation, both teams are using a portable, handheld spirometer (CareFusion MicroLoop), which is an instrument that measures the amount of air breathed in and/or out and how quickly the air is inhaled and expelled from the lungs while breathing through a mouthpiece. The measurements are recorded on a device called a spirograph.
refers to several different procedures that measure lung function in different ways. Some of the more common values that may be measured during pulmonary function testing include:
- Tidal volume (VT). This is the amount of air inhaled or exhaled during normal breathing.
- Minute volume (MV). This is the total amount of air exhaled per minute.
- Vital capacity (VC). This is the total volume of air that can be exhaled after maximum inspiration.
- Functional residual capacity (FRC). This is the amount of air remaining in lungs after normal expiration.
- Total lung capacity. This is the total volume of lungs when maximally inflated.
- Forced vital capacity (FVC). This is the amount of air exhaled forcefully and quickly after maximum inspiration.
- Forced expiratory volume (FEV). This is the volume of air expired during the first, second, and third seconds of the FVC test.
- Forced expiratory flow (FEF). This is the average rate of flow during the middle half of the FVC test.
- Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). This is the maximum volume during forced expiration.
Caregivers at Waupun Memorial Hospital are able to take the handheld device directly to the patient, use the touchscreen, add patient information, and then administer the test. From there, the results are sent to a printer, scanned and entered into the patient’s electronic medical record for the provider to review and then develop treatment plans.
The WMH Auxiliary conducts various fund-raisers to help support various hospital requests for equipment and/or patient-related needs.
Pictured above: Allegra Bossenbroek, a Waupun Memorial Hospital respiratory therapist, is shown with new technology being used to test lung function thanks to a donation by the Waupun Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.