NEW - Update on spirometry guidance
For over a year many medical tests, including spirometry, have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During this time patients have continued to present with new respiratory symptoms or are yet to present, having stayed away from medical care and tolerated ongoing symptoms.
Whilst the exact number of patients caught in the backlog for diagnostic spirometry is unknown, it is estimated to be in the region of 200–250 patients per 500,000 population. The actual number of patients may be considerably higher, especially in areas with higher underlying levels of respiratory disease due to local social and industrial factors.
We are at a stage when we need to restart diagnostic spirometry in primary care but in a way that is safe for patients and for those undertaking the testing.
This new guidance produced by PCRS, ARTP and BTS.offers practical advice on reinstating spirometry, who should carry it out, when and where it should be performed; it looks at the latest evidence on infection control and provides pointers on how to deal with the backlog of patients.