Peak Flow

...and inhalers

17 messages
Crash Hamster    pirate
01/09/2005 at 15:32
Need a medic's opinion on this, please.

(for those of you who don't know, I'm a dentist and have this sort of stuff lying round at work)
We've just been playing with a peak flow meter. My best (today and ever) is 550.

I then had a blast of a salbutamol inhaler. My best rose to 700. The other people that I work with had no change in their readings pre- and post- salbutamol.

Does this suggest that I'm mildly asthmatic? Would I benefit from using an inhaler before races?*

Disclaimer: playing with drugs is very silly. I understand a bit of pharmacology, which entitles me to do silly things. However, don't try this at home :o)

* and no, I'm not going to my GP and getting 'labelled' an 'asthmatic' 550 is normal range, thankyouplease, buut it's carp for an endurance athlete such as myself :o)
01/09/2005 at 16:02
Try it with the laughing gas and report back ;o)
01/09/2005 at 16:03
BTW, I'm going home to play with inhallers, are you proffesionally insured?
Crash Hamster    pirate
01/09/2005 at 16:04
As it <titter> I'd do <giggle> such a thing <guffaw LOL> PDW :o)
Crash Hamster    pirate
01/09/2005 at 18:01
...but it was a serious question...
01/09/2005 at 18:18
do some moring and evenig peak flowsmate
see if theres a variation
and repeat the salbutamol test
you could well be mildly astmatic-it might be the summer that is doig it
01/09/2005 at 18:28
Can't wait to get back to school now.

I'm going to have a shot on each child's medication, to see if it helps me improve, now!

Great idea, Crash!
01/09/2005 at 19:42
When I use an peak flow meter my best is around 550 all the time. It doesn't alter when I've taken my Ventolin. It does drop below that if I'm wheezy and the lowest I've been is 150 (hospitalised briefly to get is stabilised).
I find that this time of year my breathing is greatly affected by the harvest - dust in the air - and the heat.
02/09/2005 at 00:42
I'd suggest there's something going on there... though why you'd not want to get a doc to check you out properly I don't know... there's no stigma attached to asthma you know (and I must say that I quite resent the tomne of your last comment!). The worst that could happen is you get a course of beclomethasone diproprionate and your lungs are released to achieve their peak performance all the time!

I'm a fairly severe asthmatic, but my peak flow when unaffected is 760-780 these days, feeling mildly asthmatic can drop that to 700 (which equates to feeling uncomfortable) and when it gets serious, as it does for around a week every summer, that will drop to the 400s - which is awful - feels like breathing through a sheet of plastic!!

I just did a little experiment and I managed 760 pre-ventolin and 775 post ventolin.
Could you feel a difference after taking the salbutamol? 150 l/min is quite a difference - I can't see how you could not feel different from one to the other?!

My base level is quite high, but if it drops to even 700 then it's already an effort to breathe.

As an aside, when I was 16 I was rushed to hospital in the small hours unconscious through asthma (PF reading was 0 - couldn't move the needle at all!).
I woke up around 7am (about 5 hours after my near-death experience) full of asthma drugs and on a drip etc. and the doc came round to check my PF... I scored over 800 (off the scale!) so he declared the equipment faulty and sent for another peak flow meter. I assured him that that was normal for me but he was having none of it - I couldn't possibly have that reading so there must be a fault. Next one arrived and same again, then again a third time before he finally gave in and believed me ;-}
02/09/2005 at 07:36
I reckon you didn't blow into it properly the first time Crashie ;0)
02/09/2005 at 07:55
thats why i toldhim to do it again;))
Crash Hamster    pirate
02/09/2005 at 08:13
Thanks for the replies, folks...

I have a FH of asthma and know there's no stigma attached, so no offence implied or intended, but if I take it to the GP, he'll either think me neurotic (550 is 'normal, after all) or he'll give me an inhaler, which will then label me 'asthmatic' in the eyes of insurance companies etc (they certainly wouldn't understand the difference between 'serious asthma' and 'helping a runner out a bit')

Could I feel a difference? Oh yes...

Was I being feeble the first time? No, I had around a dozen goes, 500-550 each time, same with post-salbutamol tests but 700+. I've used the meter off and on since I was a student, first in physiology experiments, then at GP, then in my practice...always 550, give or take. There is a bit of technique variation, but not 150...
02/09/2005 at 08:42
Do you think a peak flow meter could be used to measure the velocity of a fart?
;o)

Sorry Crash, I'll leave your thread alone now...
Crash Hamster    pirate
02/09/2005 at 11:22
...we did have one staff member who was able to do both simultaneously, but sadly we only had one meter :o)

(keep posting, PDW, you know it's impossible for me to be serious for very long...)
02/09/2005 at 11:27
I have to say that is a hell of an image to leave me with LOL!
02/09/2005 at 15:42
Have you tried getting your receptionist to blow it?
02/09/2005 at 15:43
I mean just to check it's working!

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