Paradoxical Breathing


Paradoxical breathing is a sign (or symptom) itself. The presence of paradoxical breathing points to various types of respiratory distress or respiratory failure. The manifestation of paradoxical breathing depends on its cause.

Trauma can cause movements in the middle of the chest wall or on the back that don’t match what’s happening along the rest of the chest wall. Medical causes of paradoxical breathing often lead to a “seesaw” motion between the abdomen wall and the chest wall when you breathe.1

Different breathing patterns cause different types of paradoxical breathing.

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