Pictured from left to right is a printer made of black and beige plastic with a panel of buttons and two LED lights, the spirometer device, a black plastic unit with four buttons and a small LCD screen, and a power cord.
A spirometer measures the volume of air inhaled and exhaled by the lungs to measure one's ventilation patterns. They are the primary piece of equipment used for Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) to identify lung diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. Spirometers are also used for assessing the effect of contaminants or medication on lung function, and for evaluating disease treatment progress.
Sources of variation in lung capacity have been categorized into discrete patient attributes including age, height, weight, gender, and race or ethnicity. The primary approach for analyzing observed differences in lung capacity has been to "correct for" them in the data analysis process. Racist stereotyping in medicine instituted the belief that white people have greater pulmonary function. This preconceived notion is embedded in spirometer measurement interpretation; 'race correction' or 'ethnic adjustment' has effectively been programmed into the modern-day spirometer. In the United States, spirometers use correction factors of 10-15% for individuals who identify as Black and 4-6% for individuals who identify as Asian.
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