Mercy Health Grayling
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Better Breathing

The Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) is a series of breathing tests in which you will be asked to breathe through a machine to determine air flow into and out of your lungs. These tests can take from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the extent of the testing your doctor has ordered. It cannot be performed if you haven't properly prepared for it.

Preparing for Your Procedure

Required for all tests:

  • no smoking for 24 hours prior
  • no alcohol for 24 hours prior
  • no eating 2 hours prior
  • no coffee, tea, cola or chocolate 6 hours before test
  • no strenuous exercise 30 minutes before test

Most inhalers must be held for 12 hours. However, long-acting medications (both oral and inhaled) must be held for up to 48 hours (call with specific questions).

Examples of (bronchodilators) inhalers or nebulizers to hold for all tests:

Hold for 6 hours
  • Albuterol
  • Ventolin
  • Proair
  • Provental
  • Combivent
  • Atrovent
  • Maxair
  • Xopenex


      Hold for 12 hours
  • Advair
  • Serevent
  • Foradil
  • Aerobid
  • Axmacort
  • Flovent
  • Pulmicort
  • Symbicort
  • Dulera
       Hold for 24 hours
  • Spiriva






During the Procedure

In order to achieve optimal results, a non-distracted environment is required. Unless determined as necessary to perform the testing, other people will not be invited into the room during testing.

Pulmonary Function Test

Estimated Time

Complete PFT

60 minutes

Double PFT

30 minutes

Single PFT

15 minutes

Call our respiratory therapists at 989-348-0325 for more information about withholding medications and pulmonary function testing.