Respiratory Emergencies

Oxygen is the utmost need of the human body. The respiratory emergencies arise when someone tries desperately to have a breath of air or they feel that they may not be able to have the next breath. This emergency situation includes conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. The respiratory emergency can also be caused by the great number of medical problems aggravated by psychological or physiological stress.

Symptoms of respiratory emergencies

The recognition of the signs and symptoms of respiratory problems allows quick action that may help the patient to solve or ease the problem. The common symptoms for respiratory emergencies are-

  • The obvious abnormal noises, like wheezing or gasping
  • Breathing much fast or more slowly than the normal pace
  • Breathing deeper and shallower
  • Moist or pale or ashen or cyanotic skin that feels cool to touch.
  • Person’s feeling verbally expressed lightheadedness, pain or tightness in chest, paresthesia of hands, feet, and lips.
  • The difficulty to experience with the feelings of suffocation that understandably causes fear and apprehension or stress that may, in turn, cause the problem to get worse

Causes of respiratory emergencies

Hyperventilation and airway obstruction are the two most common causes of respiratory difficulty. They may happen with vasodepressor syncope. There are also some other causes such as asthma, obstructed airway, myocardial infarction, heart failure, allergic reactions, ingesting or inhaling toxic substances, cerebrovascular accident, and reaction due to a drug overdose. In children, Croup viral infection and epiglottitis bacterial illness may cause respiratory problems in children.

Treatment of respiratory emergencies

Management of respiratory emergency includes many effective treatments that may relieve the patient gradually. Here are some of the treatments to control these problems-

  • Making the patient to sit in the upright position to give them comfort
  • You should remove the obstructing materials from the mouth
  • Loosen the binding clothing, such as a tight collar, belt or tie to give them comfort.
  • Keep on making the patient calm by offering them reassurance to regain control of breathing.
  • Ask the respiratory patient to not to be panic. Tell them to breathe slowly that can be about four to six breaths in a minute. This is the most effective treatment that can correct the overall problem.
  • If the above-mentioned treatments do not work and the patient cannot even slow down the breathing process, they should be treated with other methods. Make them bre-reath with exhaled air little by little in the cupped hands or in a small bag of paper. A full face mask with the unit of oxygen delivery can also be of great help. Why this treatment is more effective is mainly because as the patient rebreathes the exhaled air, carbon dioxide important to checto breatheng gets filled again.
  • As another effective treatment for respiratory problems, EMS can be called at once. The airway can be left open and breathing should be monitored. Call the EMS personnel for professional care.

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