Abnormal Respirations Essay

Abnormal Respirations Essay

Breathing, Heart, and Lungs An anxious patient is having rapid and shallow breathing. After a few moments, he complains of a tingling sensation. What could be the causes of this tingling sensation? What are the various patterns of respiration and their significance? Ethnicity and culture influence risk factors for heart disease. Do you agree? Why or why not? What is the technique of percussion and palpation of the chest wall for tenderness, symmetry, bulges, fremitus, and thoracic expansion? Explain. Would you anticipate hearing hyper-resonance on a patient with a history of tobacco use? Why or why not? What are the mechanics of breathing with reference to lung borders and the anatomical structure of the lungs and diaphragm? Abnormal Respirations Essay.

Case Overview

This case study involves an anxious patient with rapid and shallow breathing and complains of a tingling sensation after a few moments.

Cause of the Tingling Sensation

The cause of the tingling sensation was hyperventilation. Hyperventilation refers to an increase in the breathing rate and depth causing anxiety, fear, and exertion.  Therefore, the tingling sensation could be due to a decrease in blood CO2, and an early sign that he could be having a panic attack.

Patterns of Respiration

Eupnea: respiratory rate of between 12-20bpm. There is chest expansion that falls with a normal respiratory rhythm and rate (Whited & Graham, 2020).

Sighing: interspersed breathing that occurs more frequently due to either obstruction or pulmonary problems.

Cheyene Stokes: deep and shallow breathing with apneic periods and is associated with brain injury. It can also lead to death.

Biot Respirations: irregular breathing with sudden apneic periods

Tachypnea: respiratory rate exceeding 20bpm. Can be due to anxiety, fever, and pain (Whited & Graham, 2020).

Bradypnea: respiratory rate below 12bpm. Sedatives or narcotics often cause it.

Obstructive Breathing: breathing pattern in people with an obstructive airway such as emphysema.

Dyspnea: labored or difficult breathing that can be associated with heart failure, COPD, and asthma.

Paroxysmal Nocturnal: shortness of breath that an individual notes after awakening.

Orthopnea: shortness of breath that worsens when an individual is in a lying position (Whited & Graham, 2020).

Kussmaul Respirations: respiratory patterns in patients with a renal issue, diabetes, or metabolic acidosis.

Hyperventilation: deep respiratory rate exceeding 20bpm

Influence of Ethnicity and Culture

I agree that culture and ethnicity are potential risk factors for cardiovascular disease. According to the findings of the study by Roth et al. (2018), the risk of hypertension is high among Black Americans. This is particularly due to poor dietary habits, physical inactivity, and a low socio-economic status among African-Americans (Roth et al., 2018). Besides, most blacks lack trust in the healthcare system and will rarely seek professional help from a qualified healthcare professional.


Percussion and Palpation Technique

To palpate for the symmetrical expansion of the chest posteriorly, one should place the hands at T9-T10 on the postero-lateral chest wall. Jarvis (2016) emphasizes on the need to take note of any expansion lag and symmetrical expansion of the chest.  Use the ulnar edge of the left or right hand and palmar base of the fingers to palpate the tactile fremitus. Abnormal Respirations Essay.  Palpation should start from lung apices, palpating from one side to another. To palpate the chest wall, one should use the fingers and when palpating, one should note areas of tenderness, moisture, skin temperature, masses, lumps, and skin lesions. According to Jarvis (2016), during percussion, one should start with percussing at the apices, then the interspaces, while making bilateral comparisons down to the lung fields/regions but avoiding the ribs and scapulae.

Hyper-resonance in A Patient with a History of Tobacco Use

Patients with a history of smoking tobacco, emphysema, and chronic illnesses like COPD would have hyper-resonance (Jarvis, 2016). Therefore, a healthcare provider should be able to assess damage to the lungs by auscultating to listen for different sounds.

Breathing Mechanics

Respiration involves inspiration and expiration. During inspiration, air rushes into the lungs, the chest expands and the air is expelled on expiration. Jarvis (2016) explains that, during this process, the up and down movement of the diaphragm either shortens or lengthens the vertical diameter, while the depression and elevation of the ribs decrease or increase the chest diameter.


Jarvis, C. (2016). Physical examination & health assessment. (7th ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier.

Roth, G. A., Johnson, C. O., Abate, K. H., Abd-Allah, F., Ahmed, M., Alam, K., & Atey, T. M. (2018). The burden of cardiovascular diseases among US states, 1990-2016. JAMA cardiology3(5), 375-389.

Whited L. & Graham D. D. (2020). Abnormal Respirations In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470309/. Abnormal Respirations Essay.