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Diagnostic Tests for Respiratory Disorders Cheat Sheet by


Pulse oximetry
Pulmonary function tests
Sputum culture
Computed tomography (CT)
Chest x-ray: use lead shield for adults of childb­earing age


ABGs via arterial puncture or arterial line: Allows the most accurate method of assessing respir­atory function
Perform Allen test if no arterial line
Sample is drawn into hepari­nized syringe
Keep on ice and transport to lab immedi­ately
Document amount and method of oxygen delivered for accurate results
Apply direct pressure to puncture site at least 5 min
Monitor for hematoma


Nursing Interv­ent­ions:
Observe postpr­oce­dure:
Visualize larynx, trachea, bronchi
Maintain NPO 8 to 12 hr
Gag reflex
Obtain tissue biopsy
Provide local anesthetic throat spray
Foreign body removal
Obtain informed consent
Respir­atory status
Position pt upright
Vital signs
Administer meds as prescribed (atropine - to reduce oral secret­ions, sedation, antian­xiety
Level of consci­ousness
Label specimens


Positive test indicates exposure to TB
Diagnosis must be confirmed w/ sputum culture for presence of acid-fast bacillus (AFB)
Administer 0.1 mL purified protein derivative intrad­ermal to upper half inner surface of forearm (insert needle bevel up)
Monitor for reaction in 48 to 72 hr following injection
Induration (harde­ning) of 10 mm or greater is considered a positive test
5 mm can be considered signif­icant if immuno­com­pro­mised

Quan­tiF­ERON-TB Gold test (QFT-FT) & T-SPOT.TB

Identify the presence of Mycoba­cterium tuberc­ulosis infection by measuring the immune response to the TB bacteria in whole blood


Thorac­ent­esis: Surgical perfor­ation of the pleural space to obtain specimen, to remove fluid or air, or to instill medication
Obtain informed consent
Reinforce pt education (remaining still, feeling of pressure, positi­oning)
Position the pt upright
Monitor respir­atory status & vital signs
Label specimens
Document pt response, and amount, color, and viscosity of fluid
Maximum amount of fluid to be removed at one time is 1 L
Chest tube at bedside
Obtain CXR before & after procedure


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