Peak Expiratory Flow Rate Measurement Periprocedural Care

Updated: Feb 15, 2022
  • Author: Daniel R Neuspiel, MD, MPH, FAAP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Periprocedural Care


Many varieties of peak flow meters (PFMs) are available (see the image below). Some devices have electronic measurement and recording capabilities with the ability to transmit peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) measurements to clinicians. These small handheld devices may yield more information and increase adherence to monitoring. [28] They are becoming more affordable but may not be reimbursed by insurance companies. Patients using standard meters should be provided with a diary for home recording of results.

Peak flow meter (PFM). Courtesy of Therese Canares Peak flow meter (PFM). Courtesy of Therese Canares, MD, and Jonathan Valente, MD, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University.

Patient Preparation


No anesthesia is required for PEFR measurement.


The PEFR is conventionally measured with the patient standing, though an upright seated position is also suitable. The mouthpiece of the PFM is placed in the patient’s mouth and sealed by the lips. The tongue should not be placed in the front opening of the meter.