Portable spirometry in the deployed setting.Mil Med 2013; 178(1):e136-40MM
Recent studies suggest an increased risk of respiratory complaints associated with deployment. The objective measurement of lung function provided by portable spirometry is likely to improve the ability of military providers to diagnose and treat lung disease. A portable spirometer was taken to southern Afghanistan on a recent deployment and used at both a level I aid station and a level II medical facility, which were colocated on a forward operating base in the Kandahar Province. In addition to being helpful managing asthma, the spirometer also facilitated identification of nonobstructive causes of dyspnea. The following cases provide proof of concept that portable spirometry can add to the limited armamentarium of military providers practicing in the austere deployment environment.