Pulmonary function testing at the Washington University Asthma and Allergy Center at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital is equipped to treat patients with issues that affect the lungs and breathing.
The center is staffed by registered pulmonary technicians using American Thoracic Standards (ATS) testing guidelines. Tests are interpreted by board certified pulmonologists.
Early detection and treatment can decrease the severity of disease progression. Many patients are referred by their physician for the following:
- Lung cancer
- Acute and chronic respiratory failure
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Lung infections
Other referrals for testing could include:
- Lung function evaluation prior to surgery.
- To identify oxygen therapy needs.
- Muscle strength.
- Evaluate the effects of environmental/occupational exposure.
- Check for asthma with a chemical or exercise challenge.
- Check effectiveness of patient's therapy or to obtain a baseline prior to treatment.
WHAT IS A PULMONARY FUNCTION TEST
Pulmonary function tests are a group of tests that evaluate how well your lungs work. These tests determine how much air your lungs can hold, how quickly you can move air in and out of your lungs, and how well your lungs put oxygen into and remove carbon dioxide from your blood.
The tests can diagnose lung diseases, measure severity of lung problems, and check to see how well treatment for a lung disease is working.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A PULMONARY FUNCTION TEST
After your arrival, you will will meet with a registered respiratory therapist and a typical evaluation will include:
- Answering breathing related questions.
- Analysis of your breathing patterns, which may include normal breathing, panting, brief breath hold, deep breaths, and soft or forceful blowing.
Your pulmonary function test results will be sent to your referring physician.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PULMONARY FUNCTION TEST
- Wear loose-fitting clothing as you may need to walk during a portion of the test.
- Consult with your physician about specific instruction for bronchodilators or inhaler medications.
- Do not eat a heavy meal before the test.
- If you are a smoker, you should not smoke for four to six hours prior to your appointment. If you smoke, quitting may be the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. The following resources may help you reach this goal:
HOW TO SCHEDULE A PULMONARY FUNCTION TEST
You will need a referral from your physician to schedule an appointment. If you feel that you are a part of this high-risk group or are experiencing respiratory symptoms, contact your physician and ask if you are a candidate for a pulmonary function test.
Referring physicians can call the BJC Transfer Center at 800.252.DOCS (3627) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also visit our referring physicians page.
Once approved by your physician, call the Washington University Asthma and Allergy Center West County at 314.996.3098 to schedule your pulmonary function test.
PULMONARY FUNCTION TESTING LOCATION
Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
Washington University Asthma and Allergy Center
Medical Office Building 2 - Siteman Cancer Center
10 Barnes West Drive, Suite 200
Creve Coeur, MO 63141
Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital is conveniently located just one mile west of I-270 in Creve Coeur, Missouri — a west county suburb of St. Louis.
Get directions and maps.