During an Occupational Health assessment I was required to take a Spirometry test.

I've done this a few times previously when diagnosed with COPD. This time I ended up collapsed unconscious on the floor of the doctors office.

In the doctors assessment report he said he'd only seen this reaction once in twenty five years.

Has anyone else had this unpleasant experience ?

19 Replies

This is not something I have come across before. Did they give you a likely cause?

Sorry that happend to you. I have never heard of that happening before. Did he say the reason why you collapsed.

No explanation was offered as to the cause of my collapse .Trying to be positive about this if it is a rare occurrence then it means I'm special :)

yes this very very rare .. how are you on balloons 🤔

I've got a balloon pump...:)

Unfortunately I have experienced something very similar during a lung function test! When I had to breathe out I passed out!!! I was also told this was very rare and they stopped doing the tests!!! It was very scary.

In addition when I had a bad cough in January I would feel very dizzy when coughing.

I hope you have now got over this horrible experience.


Welcome to our unique club Lynne :)

Is this occurrence being followed up? It may be rare but there can be other causes not related to Copd.

The occurrence hasn't been followed up specifically yet but the good news is after a CT scan by a respiratory consultant it's been decided I don't have COPD. More prodding and poking to follow no doubt.

I did some trials for Nottingham City Hospital (they do lots of pulmonary stuff there) and each time I did spirometry they made a point of being right in front of me. They said that sometimes people faint during the test ... not common but still enough to ensure that I didn't fall and bang my head.

Always thought this was a fairly normal thing until I read the comments here!

Similar reaction can happen when hyperventilating. Deep breaths in or out can I know make some people light headed or even faint

Hope you weren't too uncomfortable. Did the doc give you a pillow and blanket?

Ha ha... sorry to laugh. He was an occupational health doctor instructed by my company following a grievance. My company refuses to fit cabin air filters to the trucks I drive.. The doc said he could see no benefit in fitting air filters. He was writing notes when I came round. Showed no concern at all.

I blacked out at the end of the 1st long blow in spirometry 6 years ago. Weird sensation, but it's the body's natural way to counteract low oxygen supply to the brain. It tries to make you lie down by fainting - lowers the head in relation to the heart, to make it easier to pump more blood to the brain.

The consultant showed some concern but after asking if I was happy to carry on, continued, including repeating the blow twice more.

Rare in spirometry? I asked, he said it wasn't that rare, he'd seen it often before.

Not actually blacked out from spirometry (tho have from coughing) but usually get the "twinklies" and occasionally slight fitting, feels like legs and arms twitching but nurse says only eyes went off a bit. Been told it's not common but does happen often enough that this is why they always have the patient in a chair with arms and do not allow partners etc in the room.

I have brochiectisis and asthma.

Occupational doctors are from another planet, A friend took a disabled lad to a face to face, the doctor asked him what food he likes, the lad said pie i like pie, The doctor put in his report the boy told him he can make and bake pies ! He also asked him do you watch sport the lad said yes i watch football, the doctor put in the report he likes to play football ! they are taking it to court, why are they treating disabled people like this !

The last PFT I had the technician told me something no one else had mentioned and she was right. She said as I was blowing out I was actually bringing up my shoulders and contracting all of the corresponding muscles which reduced blood flow to the brain. She would watch me and as I started to subconsciously do it again she just reminded me to relax my shoulders and it made a big difference in how I felt getting close to the end of a blow.

Thanks jackdup for sharing that excellent information. I will put it into practise for my next test.

It should be easy to do and it actually is, but it is just so easy to not pay attention and you find you are doing it without realizing it but if you can pay attention I think you will find it much more pleasant.

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