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Pulmonary function testing’s role in pediatric respiratory diseases

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 5.5 million children under the age of 18 are currently living with asthma in the United States alone. This means approximately 7.5% all US adolescents are diagnosed with asthma.

The childhood asthma statistics are worse in the European Union (EU). 9.4% of children are affected by the disease, and sadly, several studies indicate that cases are growing globally (European Lung White Book, 2013).

Reports published by the European Lung Foundation (ELF) confirm that cystic fibrosis and asthma are becoming a growing medical concern. Whether due to developmental issues, premature birth, or genetic conditions, children are also susceptible to developing pneumonia, tuberculosis, congenital lung problems, whooping cough, bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BDP), and other respiratory conditions.

Most childhood diseases have a huge impact on a child's life during infancy, and the detrimental effects continue to affect them later in life. While advancements in medical technology and care improve the survivability of premature death due to respiratory problems, these lung conditions are on the rise.

Children have a right to breathe, and like any other chronic medical condition, early diagnosis of pediatric lung disease is the key to treatment, mitigation efforts, and improving their quality of life. A pulmonary function test (PFT) is the gold standard for the evaluation of lung diseases with children.

Through pulmonary function testing via spirometry or PFT devices, pediatric health professionals and respiratory medical providers can easily and conveniently complete robust, accurate, and non-invasive testing to diagnose conditions for children.

In the information below, we'll explore some of the facts about pediatric respiratory disease and why NDD Medical Technologies’ EasyOne® Pro and EasyOne® Pro Lab are exceptional tools that help medical professionals complete this crucial testing for those under 18 years of age.

The burden of lung health in children

Did you know that nearly one-quarter of all child visits to the doctor's office are respiratory related?

Additionally, 151 million new cases of pneumonia develop each year in children under five years of age in the developing world. Whether it is treating a respiratory infection, the onset of pneumonia, or after an asthma attack, children and their parents depend on passionate caregivers to accurately diagnose and treat respiratory disease and infections.

To accomplish this objective, investigating lung health in symptomatic children showing early indicators of respiratory difficulty is imperative. Pulmonary function tests become crucial to evaluate the lung function in a child to determine if an obstruction or pulmonary condition exists.

In years past, technology restricted health professionals from completing PFT examinations. Older devices were not user-friendly and often were built in large, intimidating enclosures – which produced a frightening experience for younger patients and required considerable space and maintenance.

Today's modern PFT devices aim to identify:

  • Airway obstruction
  • Restrictive lung, chest wall, and respiratory muscle defects.
  • Ventilatory Inhomogeneity (MBW test to measure LCI mainly in CF)

Since not all children can perform the breathing exercises as instructed, special equipment is used to measure the lung function of small children.

What are the different types of PFT exams?

Multiple devices complete pulmonary function testing.

Tepper et al. initially developed prototypes to measure pulmonary function for infants in the early 1980s, with revisions and improvements being made during the mid-1990s. At this point, additional studies completed by the American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society in 2005 further validated the effectiveness of these customized solutions.

Today, multiple PFT exams can determine lung function in children:


This is the most popular device used to complete pulmonary function tests. They are designed to measure the flow and volume of air that is exhaled from the lungs. Modern spirometry devices are hand-held, portable, lightweight, and can be used in remote locations or office environments.

Oxygen saturation

Many advanced lung diseases require further testing beyond lung volume. Oxygen saturation reflects the amount of oxygen in the blood. These tests are used to help assess several lung diseases.

Multiple breath washout

(These tests are also known as Nitrogen Washout)

Multiple breath washout (MBW) tests measure total lung capacity (TLC), functional residual capacity (FRC), and residual volume (RV) and the ventilatory inhomogeneity (Lung Clearence Index). Nitrogen washout is used to determine lung volumes when the patient is required to breathe in 100% of oxygen until nitrogen levels reach the desired percentage. The LCI is considered a highly-sensitive marker for managing CF patients.

Additionally, respiratory clinicians also complete other non-traditional tests, including measuring respiratory muscle strength, determining the responsiveness of inhaled medications, and evaluating the responsiveness to cold air and exercise. Regardless of the specific tests used, the need for better and easier to use PFT equipment is crucial for accurate lung function testing of children across the globe.

How NDD Medical Technologies provides PFT solutions for pediatric respiratory care

The goal of all PFT devices is to accurately measure lung function. However, the modern medical office depends on using the right tools to expedite the process, improve the patient experience, and reduce time-consuming calibration tests. NDD Medical Technologies offers a portfolio of PFT devices that can be used in multiple patient rooms, require no calibration, and can be customized for pediatric lung function testing.

The EasyOne Pro® and EasyOne Pro Lab® provide Portable DLCO, Lung Volumes, Lung Clearence Index and Spirometry tests. These advanced tools are the most efficient and accurate devices to test lung function in any setting. They permit clinicians to accurately measure a ' 'child's lung volume, Lung Clearence Index, and spirometry. Their compact and lightweight design easily fits in any office setting. Medical offices can likewise customize the EasyOne Pro for pediatric testing (minimum age of 4 years).

Utilizing NDD's patented TrueFlow™ technology, these two pediatric PFT devices eliminate many common sources of error, save time, are non-invasive, and most importantly, produce robust and accurate PFT measurements.

Testing at the point of care

The EasyOne Pro® is easy to use in a portable environment or a stationary facility. These devices are equipped with TrueFlow™ and TrueCheck™ technology – which ensures optimal results, independent of the clinician.

Once the EasyOne Pro® is activated, it is calibrated, is ready to test, delivers results in a few minutes, and is exceptionally user friendly. The patient-friendly design is likewise ideal for those who are claustrophobic or overweight.

Always safe & ready to test

Gas analysis testing for pediatric lung diseases is likewise consistent, quick, and dependable. NDD's patented TrueCheck™ technology takes care of the essential quality control for gas analysis testing. In fact, the EasyOne Pro® and EasyOne Pro Lab® are the only PFT devices that have been proven to be accurate over many years.

A superior patient experience

Arguably the biggest hurdle medical professionals face with testing infants and small children for lung function is the intimidation of some older, bulky, and inconsistent ‘Body Box’ solutions. This issue is mitigated completely with the EasyOne Pro and EasyOne Pro Lab.

For basic lung function testing, the EasyOne Air® is an exceptional spirometer that fits in the palm of your hand and is simple for children to use. Like the EasyOne Pro, the EasyOne Air eliminates the need for constant calibration and delivers robust testing results.

Pediatric lung health is a serious concern. New cases of asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, and other lung health conditions are popping up daily. When a pediatric office can depend on a simple to use, professionally designed, and exceptionally durable PFT device, their ability to complete initial lung health screening is streamlined and simplified.

If you provide health care to children or a lung health expert that is searching for more dependable and accurate PFT devices, click the button below to connect with an NDD Medical Technologies expert today.

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