Diagnostic Tests for Respiratory Disorders


Risk factors for respiratory disorders

  • Chest injury
  • Crowded living conditions
  • Exposure to chemicals and environmental pollutants
  • Family history of infectious disease
  • Frequent respiratory illnesses
  • Geographic residence and travel to foreign countries
  • Smoking
  • Surgery
  • Use of chewing tobacco
  • Viral syndromes
  1. Chest x-ray film
  • Description: Provides information regarding the anatomical location and appearance of the lungs
  • Preprocedure
    • Remove all jewelry and other metal objects from the chest area.
    • Assess the client’s ability to inhale and hold his or her breath.
  • Postprocedure: Help the client get dressed.
  1. Sputum specimen
  • Description: Specimen obtained by expectoration or tracheal suctioning to assist in the identification of organisms or abnormal cells
  1. Preprocedure
  • Determine specific purpose of collection and check with institutional policy for appropriate method for collection of a specimen.
  • Obtain an early morning sterile specimen from suctioning or expectoration after a respiratory treatment if a treatment is prescribed.
  • Instruct the client to rinse the mouth with water before collection.
  • Obtain 15 mL of sputum.
  • Instruct the client to take several deep breaths and then cough deeply to obtain sputum.
  • Always collect the specimen before the client begins antibiotic therapy.
  1. Postprocedure
  • If a culture of sputum is prescribed, transport the specimen to the laboratory immediately.
  • Assist the client with mouth care.
  1. Laryngoscopy and bronchoscopy


Direct visual examination of the larynx, trachea, and bronchi with a fiberoptic bronchoscope


  • Obtain informed consent.
  • Maintain NPO status for the client from midnight before the procedure.
  • Obtain vital signs.
  • Assess the results of coagulation studies.
  • Remove dentures and eyeglasses.
  • Prepare suction equipment.
  • Establish an intravenous (IV) access as necessary and administer medication for sedation as prescribed.
  • Have emergency resuscitation equipment readily available.
  1. Postprocedure
  • Monitor vital signs.
  • Maintain the client in a semi-Fowler’s position.
  • Assess for the return of the gag reflex.
  • Maintain NPO status until the gag reflex returns.
  • Have an emesis basin readily available for the client to expectorate sputum.
  • Monitor for bloody sputum.
  • Monitor respiratory status, particularly if sedation has been administered.
  • Monitor for complications, such as bronchospasm or bronchial perforation, indicated by
  • facial or neck crepitus, dysrhythmias, hemorrhage, hypoxemia, and pneumothorax.
  • Notify the physician if fever, difficulty in breathing, or other signs of complications occur following the procedure.

Leave a Reply