Testing information for patients

Respiratory Function Tests

If you are currently experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell/taste) please call us BEFORE attending your appointment on 07 5433 8474

A Respiratory Function Test (RFT) is a series of breathing tests where you will be required to perform different breathing patterns through a mouthpiece. These patterns may require you to breathe fast, take big breaths in, empty your lungs out and hold your breath. An RFT is a simple, non-invasive way to examine how well your lungs are functioning. A Respiratory Scientist will explain and guide you through the tests requested. Most tests will take from 30-45 minutes to be completed; however, this may vary depending on the type of test your doctor has asked for.

Why am I having this test?

Patient in a respiratory testing machine with a clinician monitoringThere are many different reasons to have a lung function test.  Some of these reasons include:

  • To diagnose the cause of a cough/breathlessness
  • To evaluate the severity of a disease
  • To track disease progression

What do I bring to my test?

  • Medicare Card/Veterans Affairs Card
  • A list of all current medications
  • If you use any inhalers, please bring them with you
  • Any walking aids (walking stick, 4-wheel walker etc)

Patient preparation

  • It is important to wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing for this
  • You can eat and drink as
  • Patients under 16 years old will need to be accompanied by an adult/guardian.
  • Patients are asked to refrain from the following before the test:
Withholding Time Activity
8 Hours No ALCOHOL

Withholding inhalers

  • First time patients to the department:
    • Please withhold all inhalers before your appointment according to the table below, unless it is absolutely necessary to take them. All other medications can be taken as normal.
  • Return patients:
    • Inhalers can be used as per your normal routine, unless advised otherwise.
Withholding Time Inhaler Name
6 Hours Ventolin, Airomir, Asmol, Zempreon, Bricanyl
12 Hours

Atrovent, Flixotide, Fluticasone Cipla, Pulmicort, QVAR, Alvesco, Arnuity

24 Hours Seretide, Pavtide, Flutiform, Symbicort, Oxis, Serevent, DuoResp Spiromax, Fluticasone + Salmeterol Cipla, Fostair, Atectura, Singulair/Montelukast Tablets
36 – 48 Hours Breo, Onbrez, Spiriva, Incruse, Anoro, Brimica, Seebri, Trelegy, Bretaris, Spiolto, Ultibro, Trimbow, Braltus, Enerzair, Breztri

Please phone the Outpatients Department on 07 5433 8474 if you cannot attend this appointment.

Contact us

Specialist Outpatient Department
Location: Ground floor, Caboolture Hospital
Phone: (07) 3049 3440 or
(07) 5433 8663 (appointments)
Open: Monday-Friday 7.30am-2.30pm

Need help outside hours?

For non-urgent medical issues call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit your GP.

In an emergency call 000.

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