There are two main types of pulmonary function
tests, often referred to as PFTs. One is a complete PFT.
This test takes about an hour to complete and often involves
the patient sitting in a glass structure, similar to
a phone booth. In this article we will not discuss the
complete PFT. We will focus only on one part of the
complete PFT, known as basic spirometry. We will also
look at some strides made over the last 10 years in increasing
the use of this valuable test to diagnose and
monitor the progression of COPD.
She is one of many individuals living with COPD
and sharing their inspirational stories on You Are Not
Your COPD, a web-based initiative on Healthline.com
designed to provide hope and support to those living
with COPD. (www.healthline.com/health/copd/inspirational-
stories. Healthline, a medical information and
health advice website, partnered with the COPD Foundation
to recently launch this initiative.
The COPD Community lost a passionate
COPD advocate in Barbara Rogers when she
died at the end of last year.
"Barbara, a long-time member of COPD-ALERT,
was the CEO of Respiratory Resources and earlier the
president of the National Emphysema/COPD Association
(NECA). She was one of the most passionate and
indefatigable advocates for COPD patients. Her advocacy
efforts were acknowledged by the Food and Drug
Administration, National Institutes of Health, Centers
for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and legislators on
Capitol Hill, Vlady Rozenbaum, who worked with Barbara
on both NECA and COPD-ALERT, says. Barbara
played a very important role in designing the first coordinated
surveys of COPD patients, primary care
physicians and pulmonologists to assess the needs of
the COPD community.
Advances in care and treatment over the past
decade, however, plus the new emphasis on lowering
costs of care brought about by health care reform, have
opened the door to a new way of thinking about this
chronic respiratory condition, and RTs have been
among the first to walk through it. Working alongside
patient advocates in the public arena, they are helping
to ensure more patients are diagnosed before it is too
late to impact the disease course. By teaming up with
their colleagues in medicine and nursing, they are also
carving out disease management programs aimed at
equipping patients at any stage of the disease with the
education and services they need to stay out of the revolving
door of hospital admissions.
There is much more awareness today, and were not
just seeing patients when theyre at the very end stage
of COPD. We are diagnosing and treating much earlier,
which is huge, Dr. Yawn, director of research at Olmsted
Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota, says.
My motivation [to quit] was that it was a birthday
present to the woman I love. It was a commitment
that I couldnt go back on. She helped me find the reason
to quit, because I realized that it was substantially
more important than just me, Mahon says.