Tactile vocal fremitus, chest vibration and resonance sounds

DEFINITION: The assessment of chest vibration sounds assessed by applying the hands over the patient’s chest wall whilst they say out loud words of resonating quality. TEST PROCEDURE: Apply the ulnar borders of your hands on both sides of the patient’s chest. Alternatively you can place the heels of your hands. As you need to […]

Auscultation of the lungs

DEFINITION: Listening and evaluating the breath sounds and added sounds coming from within the thorax using a stethoscope. TEST PROCEDURE: The use of the diaphragm of the stethoscope is preferred as it tends to pick up more sounds and slightly amplify them. Issue clear instructions to the patient. Get the patient to seat upright on […]

Peak flow measurements, peak expiratory flow rate (PEF)

DEFINITION: This is a basic procedure using a peak flow meter in order to assess how fast and how much you can breathe out. It is also used to extrapolate lung capacity. It is a procedure used by patients with COPD or asthma suffers to monitor their lung performance. Also referred to as a test […]

Chest excursion, expansion of thorax, rib expansion

DEFINITION: This procedure evaluates the degree of expansion of the thorax at various levels. TEST PROCEDURE: The patient should be seated with an erect posture, not slouching or tilting. Place your fingers and palms symmetrically over the chest wall at a horizontal level so that your thumbs are closely opposing each other or are just […]

Percussion of the thorax

DEFINITION: A physical examination procedure which uses the sound from a percussing finger to evaluate the underlying tissues and structures of the thoracic cavity. It seeks to evaluate the degree of resonance of the chest. TEST POCEDURE: With the index or middle finger of one hand strike the middle finger of the other hand just […]