A study was conducted on the use of scales obtained using a mechanical pump or traditional human population test results for accuracy and variability testing of peak expiratory flow (PEF) meters. MiniWright PEF meters were tested using a mechanical pump simulator and traditional scale values were converted to mechanical scale values using an equation provided by the manufacturer of the PEF meters. The average coefficient of variation of the PEF meters within a standard waveform was 2.8%. A 2.5% decrease in the results were seen using heated and humidified air simulating body conditions compared with those seen using room air. The PEF meters tested were found to overestimate flows at lower flower rates and slightly underestimate flows at higher flow rates when compared with mechanically simulated PEFs and with spirometry determined peak flows in human subjects. The authors conclude that the new mechanical scale included with PEF meters should be used rather than the traditional human population based scale.
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