Tachypnea is a fast, shallow breathing symptom with which a patient has more than twenty breaths per minute. This symptom has many possible causes. Tachypnea is, in most cases, a medical emergency. Indeed, the patient receives less oxygen, and in many cases, death is possible. Treatment depends on the underlying cause of tachypnea but the faster a patient receives treatment, the better is the prognosis.
Content of the article:
· Synonyms of Tachypnea
· Tachypnea and hyperventilation
· Etiology of Tachypnea: Rapid, shallow breathing – Common problem in the lungs
· Symptoms of a patient with tachypnea
· Diagnostic studies in patients with tachypnea
· Treatment of patients with tachypnea
· Complications in patients with tachypnea
Synonyms of Tachypnea
Tachypnea is also known as:
· Respiratory rate – rapid and shallow
· Breathing – rapid and shallow
· Chest breathing
· Rapid shallow breathing
· Thoracic breathing
Tachypnea and hyperventilation
When a patient gets hyperventilation, he or she breathes quickly but deeply unlike one with Tachypnea whose breathing is shallow. Carbon dioxide in the lungs causes hyperventilation and Tachypnea is caused by carbon dioxide in the blood.
Etiology of Tachypnea: Rapid, shallow breathing – Common problem in the lungs
A shallow, rapid breathing has many potential medical causes, such as: anxiety, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic lung diseases, a blood clot in an artery in the lungs, an infection of the smallest airways of the lungs in children (bronchiolitis ), hyperventilation, pulmonary edema, pneumonia, heart failure, suffocation and transient tachypnea of the newborn patient… In newborn patients, the Tachypnea (40-60 breaths per minute) is often transient (usually less than 24 to 48 hours). This is especially common in babies who are born prematurely, babies who have come up with a caesarean and baby whose mother has diabetes.
Symptoms of a patient with tachypnea
The patient has a blue or gray skin, nails, lips, gums, or the area around the eyes (cyanosis). Also, the chest moves in with each breath. The patient also has chest pain, fever, and breathing is difficult. Dizziness may also occur, as well as insomnia at night and sleepiness and fatigue at daytime. Sometimes the symptoms may aggravate. These symptoms emphasize a medical emergency. A patient must, in other words as soon as possible, seek for professional medical help.
Diagnostic studies in patients with Tachypnea
The doctor will perform a thorough physical examination of the patient. He examines the heart, the lungs, the abdomen and the head of the patient.
Possible tests may include a CT scan of the chest, an electrocardiogram (ECG), a chest X-ray, and a ventilation / perfusion scan of the lungs.
Treatment of patients with tachypnea
The treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the rapid breathing. Oxygen therapy is needed when the amount of oxygen is low and also inhalation therapy. Sprays are needed in an attack of asthma or COPD to open the airways. Also, corticosteroid can help here. Antibiotics help with pneumonia bacteria. If a patient has tachypnea anxiety, there is medication available for this purpose. For some (anxiety) patients, yoga exercises are good to ease the shallow breathing.
Complications in patients with Tachypnea
When the patient has a severe shallow breathing, disorientation, delirium, confusion, and even seizures are possible.