Covid Lung Function Testing
ARTP Guidelines for Lung Function Testing (South West Respiratory Network Guidance) available here
Indications for Pulmonary Function Testing in Primary Care under current circumstances
Pulmonary Function testing should only be performed if it will advance management of a patient through diagnosis, where there are no alternative approaches to making a positive diagnosis. Testing should be on a need basis, rather than routine or nice to know. Pulmonary Function Testing is not a substitute for an in depth clinical assessment and should be viewed as an adjunct to this.
Medium risk tests should be performed in an appropriate environment (see guidance elsewhere in full guidance document above), with fluid repellent surgical mask, visor, apron and gloves. These include spirometry and bronchodilator reversibility.
Low risk tests can be undertaken in any environment, with fluid repellent surgical mask, visor, apron and gloves. These include Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) and Carbon Monoxide testing.
Peak Expiratory Flow Recording (PEFR) can be considered remotely (either reported, or via video consultation) in an appropriately competent patient. Performing this “adhoc”, for example to teach technique could be considered in an outdoor setting in primary care (for example outside the practice) and should not be performed in a clinic room setting unless precautions undertaken like spirometry.