Your respirations, along with airway, is probably the most vital of all the vital signs. That's the one my instructors stay on top of us about. Airway is always the number one thing that you check first. If you're not breathing then you're dying.
The Various Factors Affecting Respiration Rate:
Respiratory rate decreases with age through late adolescence, when it stabilizes.
- So, the normal respiration rate tapers off and has a lower normal rate once you start hitting your teens. Then it will remain that normal rate throughout your life.
Respiratory rate and depth increases with exercise.
- That's also a given. Lol You get winded and your body picks up the slack and replaces the oxygen that has been burnt off through physical exertion through your muscles.
Illness Processes -
Cardiovascular disease and hemotologic disorders such as anemia cause an increased respiratory rate. Sickle cell disease reduces the ability of hemoglobin to carry oxygen, resulting in increased respiratory rate and depth. Respiratory disease can be manifested by difficulty breathing, use of accessory muscles, increased rate, and shallower depth. Smoking alters airways, resulting in an increased rate.
- There is so much that can affect the way you breath. I think its crazy that your respirations are what dictate your PH acid-base balance, whether you are blowing off or retaining too much Co2. I may elaborate on another post about this. Co2 retention is usually correlated with COPD.
Acid-base balance -
Acidosis results in increased rate and depth of respirations in an attempt to rid the body of excess carbon dioxide. Alkalosis results in decreased respiratory rate as the body tries to retain carbon dioxide.
Some medications, such as narcotics and general anesthesia, slow respirations. Alternatively, drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine increase respirations. Broncodialators (I'm sure a lot of you have heard "breathing treatments" a time or two) slow the respiratory rate by dilating the airways.
- Not sure if you know it or not but, the usual cause of death with an overdose is respiratory depression, where you simply just stop breathing.
Acute pain increases respiratory rate while decreasing respiratory depth.
- So it kinda causes you to hyperventilate, causing your PH level to decrease which in-turn forces your body to release a natural pain killer.
Fear or anxiety can cause increased respiratory rate and decreased depth.
- That fight or flight and release of nor-epinephrine in the brain you seen me talk about.
Thanks for reading another one of my posts. I hope you are keeping up with all of my medical posts and learning some stuff. These post will help you understand your body better, so tune in!
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