Predictive Power of Spirometry
This paper reviews several fundamental concepts which were “discovered” and explored several times over the years by Prof. Thomas L. Petty, (1932–2010). Prof Petty was a very well known American doctor who dedicated many years of his life plus a great deal of energy to making available to a wider public a range of scientific truths which are at the base of modern spirometry.
* Thomas L. Petty, MD (1932-2010) was chairman of the National Lung Health Education Program, Prof. of Medicine and Faculty Consultant for HealthONE Center for Health Sciences Education at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center of Denver, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board at RT Magazine.
“TEST YOUR LUNGS, KNOW YOUR NUMBERS“ (1)
This was the motto (1) of the NATIONAL LUNG HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAM (NLHEP) of which Prof. Petty was Director, and for which he wrote some memorable articles.
In his editorial entitled “SPIROMETRY FOR ALL” he said referring to physicians (1) “certainly no one would give insulin without checking blood sugar”…”or an anthypertensive without measuring blood pressure”. Likewise “few [physicians] would give antiarrhythmics without electrocardiographic evidence of a cardiac-rhythm disturbance“. (2)
“Why, then, would anyone give powerful medications such as inhaled oral bronchodilators (or, particularly, corticosteroids, with their attendant adverse effects) without first measuring baseline lung function so that one can observe responses to therapy? How could anyone know when maximum therapeutic benefit had been achieved without airflow and air volume measurements?“. (2)
It seems incredible but this is what often happens in real life.