Hyperventilation Syndrome Symptoms

Recognizing Hyperventilation Syndrome

If a patient with rapid, shallow breathing has the ability to become calmer and slow his or her breathing, it may be hyperventilation syndrome. A behavioral cause of hyperventilation can be overcome, a medical cause of rapid breathing probably cannot. Working with the patient to slow his breathing often distinguishes the condition from other causes of shortness of breath as well as treats it.

Never assume a patient is suffering from hyperventilation syndrome. Always look for other causes of shortness of breath first. It’s important to note that hyperventilation patients must be conscious and able to communicate. Unconscious or unresponsive victims are likely not suffering from hyperventilation syndrome.

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