Safety and use of pulmonary function tests: A retrospective study from a single center over seven years' clinical practice

Fei Li, Zhi Wen Huang, Xiao Fei Wang, Hui Wen Xu, Hua Yu, Yan Bin Chen, Jian An Huang, Jia Jia Wang, Wei Lei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: To promote the utilization of pulmonary function tests (PFT) through analyzing the data of PFT during the past seven years in one large teaching hospital in China. Methods: Through a retrospective analysis, the allocation of full-time staff in PFT room, the demographic characteristics of patients, cost-effectiveness of PFT, positive rate and failure rate of PFT, adverse events were analyzed. Results: 1) From 2012 to 2018, the numbers of PFT showed the trend of escalation year by year. The proportion of patients receiving PFT rose from 29.0/10,000 in 2012 to 34.7/10,000 in 2018. The best allocation of PFT room was 20-25/ person / day. 2) The number of PFT provided by Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (PCCM) accounted for 97.2, 97.1, 97.3, 97.8, 97.8, 98.0, and 98.2% of the total cases of outpatient PFT in the same year. The top three departments in the inpatient department were Department of Thoracic Surgery, Department of General Surgery, and Department of Urinary Surgery, the total cases of PFT in these three departments accounted for 65.1, 64.4, 62.1, 63.5, 62.4, 65.3 and 69.1% of the total cases of inpatient PFT in the same year. 3) Data from 2018 showed that the revenue from PFT was about 3.7 million Chinese Yuan, and that the salary of personnel and expenditure on machine maintenance and wear were about 800,000 Chinese Yuan. 4) 58.2% of the patients who had undergone PFT had ventilatory dysfunction. 5) The average failure rate of PFT in the past seven years was 1.91%. 6) The main adverse events of PFT examination were dizziness, amaurosis, limb numbness, lip numbness and falls. The incidence rates were 0.49, 0.42, 0.41, 0.39, 0.44, 0.48, and 0.45% respectively, with an average of 0.44%. Conclusions: The number of PFT showed an upward trend in the past seven years, and the optimal staffing of PFT room was 20-25 cases per person per day. The positive rate of pulmonary dysfunction was 58.2%. The failure rate of PFT and the incidence of adverse events were very low, suggesting it is a simple and safe clinical examination. It's worthy of further popularization and promotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number259
JournalBMC Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 21 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adverse events
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Patient safety
  • Pulmonary function tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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