Spirometry – Pulmonary Function Test

Spirometry, often called a pulmonary function test, measures how much air you can blow out from your lungs and how fast you can blow it out.

It is a common test used to diagnose asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Your healthcare provider will use test results to determine the best treatment for you.

Spirometry is one of several pulmonary function tests provided by the Respiratory Therapy Program.

Who do we serve?

  • Adults
  • Children aged 12 and older

How to access our services?

You must have a referral from your physician to get an appointment and pass this test.

About The Program

Before your appointment

  • Your doctor will fax us a request – please make sure your contact information is accurate so we may contact you.
  • We will call you to schedule an appointment and provide preparation instructions.
  • You will receive a reminder call a few days before your appointment.

What to bring

  • Valid Health card
  • List of all your medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal medicines

When you arrive

  • Please register at one the self-service registration kiosks at the Main Entrance at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Clerks are available to help with the registration process.
  • Upon registering, take a “puck”. It will buzz and light up when your turn comes up and indicate in which room to report.
  • Use the Cardiology entrance door to go to the Pulmonary Function Lab for your test.

Preparation and procedure

  • Do not use your inhaler before your test according to the time period specified during the booking call.
  • Do not smoke, vape or exercise before the test.
  • The Respiratory Therapist will explain how to breathe into a tube to allow the machine to measure your lung capacity.
  • You will have to blow into the machine in specific ways, and several times, to collect sufficient data.
  • During the test, the therapist may ask you to take Salbutamol (Ventolin), a medication that opens the airways. Data collected by the machine before and after the administration of Ventolin will be compared.
  • The test is painless, but requires some effort.

Test results

  • The Respiratory Therapist is are not able to give you the results of your exam. A Respirologist or Internal Medicine Specialist will analyze the recorded data and send a written report to the referring physician within 10 working days.
  • Results will also be available in your electronic medical record. For information on the creation of an account and how to access your electronic medical record, visit MyChart.
  • You must book an appointment with your family doctor or healthcare professional who sent us the referral to discuss your test results.