Respiratory Surveillance (Spirometry)

Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT) / Spirometry is a useful screening test for asthma, COPD and restrictive lung disorders.

It is essential that all employees are screened at the pre-employment stage and at intervals if they are working in areas where there is airborne particulate, chemical or pathogen, or when occupational asthma could be a risk.

Spirometry can be used to assess the effectiveness of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and of controls such as Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV)

The test is usually conducted by a nurse and takes approximately 30 minutes. The occupational physician will then discuss the result of the test and give advice if necessary.

A lung function check (spirometry) is a physical test and will require a degree of effort from you. It involves deep breathing in and blowing out (exhaling) both in a relaxed and in a forced manner through the mouthpiece of the spirometer several times. If you have had any of the following within the last 6 months you should discuss with the physician whether your test should be postponed:

  • Haemoptysis (vomiting blood) of unknown origin
  • Recent myocardial infarction (heart attack) or pulmonary embolism
  • Stroke
  • Eye surgery in last 3 months
  • Abdominal/thoracic surgery in the last 3 months
  • Ear surgery or perforated eardrum in the last 3 months

If you use asthma medication such as inhalers please bring them with you for your test. If you smoke please avoid smoking for at least four hours prior to the test. It is also advisable to avoid a large or heavy meal immediately before the test.



Spirometry can be conducted on-site and off-site .

For more information on respiratory surveillance telephone Whitemill Medical Centre on 053 9140000 or complete the On-Line Contact Form

Download Respiratory Questionnaire

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