OH Today Summer 2022

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Spirometry What is normal and abnormal? By Charlene Mhamgami BSc Hons , Vitalograph


he aim of workplace spirometry

is normal and abnormal, the approach of

is to identify workers who may

interpretation needs to be decided.

have lung disease and require

further evaluation. Determining what

constitutes an abnormal, versus a normal, spirometry result is particularly important when spirometry is performed in relation to the workplace. An ‘abnormal’ spirometry result can impact a worker’s job (e.g., determining job placement)’1, as well as prompting further evaluation of the worker’s lung health and possible workplace exposures. Therefore, to determine what

The occupational health practitioner performing spirometry should ensure

that technically acceptable and repeatable spirometry results are obtained according to the current 2019 ATS/ERS spirometry guidelines. It is important to highlight interpretation of spirometry doesn’t provide full diagnosis of lung diseases, but it can begin to paint the overall diagnostic picture. Spirometry interpretation




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