A spirometer is a device used to measure the volume of the air brought into and exhaled through the lungs. Spirometers measure the ventilation of the lungs and are able to show different types of abnormal ventilation patterns – restrictive and obstructive.
Features of spirometers
While the devices are easy to use, they should only be used by those who have the training and knowledge to utilize them properly. When you are choosing a device, consider the ways that you will need to use it and the patients that you will have. This can help you determine the best type of spirometer to use for your clinic or whatever particular setup you have available.
How spirometers work
There are a number of different types of spirometers available. A whole body plethysmograph is highly accurate when measuring the lung volume. They require that the patient is put into a small space, and then has the measurement taken.
A pneumotachometer will measure the gas flow rate. It does this by detecting pressure differences as the air passes across a mesh. These are helpful because the patient will continue to be able to breath fresh air when they are using it.
A fully electronic spirometer is very common and popular today. They will determine the airflow rates easily and without the need for any moving parts or mesh. An incentive spirometer helps patients to improve the function of their lungs. Peak flow meters will measure a patient’s ability to breathe.
Another type of device is called the windmill-type spirometer, which measures the “forced vital capacity” without using water, which the traditional devices utilize. One of the other benefits of this device is that it is lighter, and therefore more portable.
An AME Spirometer Evolve, or tilt-compensated spirometer, is a relative newcomer. It can take measurements while being held horizontally, and it features tilt-sensing components to indicate the patient’s position to still get an accurate reading.
A number of companies manufacture these types of devices. A few of the most popular companies include AMAE (Advanced Medical Engineering), MIR, Siblemed, Custo-Med, Cubic, Bionet, Medset, SDI, Smiths Medical, Thor, Microquark, and Medisoft.