A list of the common terms used in medicine to describe respiration and a summary of what they mean.
Apnea - cessation of respiration
Biot's breathing: sequences of uniformly deep gasps, apnea, then more gasps.
Breathlessness: the state of being out of breath or having difficulty breathing, whatever the cause.
Cheyne-Stokes respiration: cycles of gradual increase in tidal volume, followed by a gradual decrease in tidal volume and a period of apnea.
Dyspnea: pain or unpleasantness on increased respiratory effort, sometimes used interchangeable with breathlessness.
Eupnea: Normal breathing.
Gasping: spasmodic inspiratory effort
Hyperpnea: an increase in minute ventilation without reference to the PaCO2. Equivalent to tachypnea
Hyperventilation: an increase in minute ventilation disproportionate to the arterial concentration of carbon dioxdie. (PaCO2 <37mmHg).
Hypoventilation: a decrease in minute ventilation disproportionate to the arterial concentration of carbon dioxdie. (PaCO2 >43mmHg).
Kussmaul respiration: deep, rapid breathing, characteristic of metabolic acidosis
Stridor: the sound of airway obstruction in the upper respiratory tract.
Tachypnea: an increase in respiratory rate.
Wheezing: sound caused by airflow limitation of whatever cause. Stridor is a subset of wheezing.
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