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Definition Of Tachypnea Its Causes and Treatments

Referencing Styles : APA | Pages : 1


Tachypnea is a term in the medical field which refers specifically to a condition of fast as well as shallow breathing. The most common cause to this syndrome is either a lack of oxygen or might be too much of carbon dioxide present inside the body. It can even be an outcome of other health issues. Tachypnea is not basically a disease, but a symptom sharing a message that the body is trying to correct another disorder or any problem.

Newborns going through the development of lungs may have Tachypnea right after they are born. Children may have Tachypnea when a viral infection related to respiratory causes wheezing or maybe fever. Bronchitis or asthma may lead to Tachypnea in small children. Generally, many conditions may lead to Tachypnea, including that of pneumonia in its initial stages. On the other hand, in adult humans being at rest, a respiratory rate between that of 12 and 20 breaths per minute is a normal condition while the rate increasing above 20 determines the presence of Tachypnea. However, children significantly have higher rate of ventilatory rates which go through constant declination for the first three years and then becomes steady until 18 years of age. Tachypnea can be given a consideration of early pneumonia in children.

The main symptoms of Tachypnea are,

  • Feeling of breath getting short
  • The presence of a blue tint on the fingers and the lips
  • Pulling or retraction of the chest while breathing.

Causes of Tachypnea

Many diseases and conditions which are responsible for the Tachypnea are treatable. The following are the main causes of Tachypnea.

i) Oxygen shortage- a reason why a person breathes more than another person is because of the reason to take in more oxygen. The level of oxygen inside the body may be either too low or the carbon dioxide level might be too high. The body tries to provide a rectification to this by breathing a lot more quick. Certain diseases which play a part in affecting the lungs are asthma, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumothorax, and etcetera.

ii) Breathing problems in newborns- when a newborn has Tachypnea, doctors usually announce it as transient Tachypnea of the newborn (TTN). This tends to have a development within 24 hours from the time of birth. TTN occurs because the lungs make an extra effort to take in more oxygen. During the development stage inside the womb, the lungs contain a special type of fluid. As the baby reaches its full size, the body starts absorbing the fluid so that the lungs can make preparations for breathing after the birth of the baby. In some of the cases, where the fluid is not completely absorbed, it results to rapid breathing after the birth takes place.

TTN in newborn babies can also lead to blue colored face, noisy breathing, retraction of chest and flared nostrils. The doctors can provide necessary treatment for TTN in within the hospital with extra oxygen. TTN usually gets resolved with the right amount of medical care.

iii) There is an existing illness in children commonly referred to as the flu, bronchitis and also respiratory syncytial virus are the results of Tachypnea. Children who carry a tendency to catch more of these illnesses before they reach the age of 4. However, this lot may have a fewer symptoms of the diseases as they tend to grow older. If a caretaker of the baby notices rapid breathing, retraction in the chest or a blue tint upon the skin, the person should immediately run for medical attention. The children might be in need of passage clearance or extra supply of oxygen.

iv) Tachypnea can even result as a body’s way of bringing down the temperatures maybe because of a fever or any hot environment. If a person undergoes overheating because of the environmental factors, doctors refer to this situation as a heat emergency. Tachypnea is just a single symptom of the lot, the others might include muscle cramps, confusion, dizziness, extreme thirst, a headache, a nausea, sweating and seizures.

Some of these symptoms may lead to a heatstroke which also falls under the category of a medical emergency. A person coming under such suspicion might need to take the help of a medical emergency as well. A fever along with Tachypnea is not always a way of leading to an alarm, but can also be the outcomes of mild illness. However, a child having such symptoms may always be given medical attention. Since, a child is devoid of the ways of communicating the exact feeling of its own, hence a major problem might be ignored and then turn out to be incurable. If a child is also going under wheezing, then also the child is in dire need of medical attention.


Treatment options that have been placed forward for Tachypnea vary in a wide manner. If the doctor is not at all aware of the underlying cause to the syndrome, then the doctors will conduct necessary tests, have a look down the medical history of the patient and also take into consideration the other symptoms. The checks which the doctors perform to have an assurance regarding the disease are,

  • Having a listen to the breathing with the help of a stethoscope.
  • Running checks on the oxygen level with the help of a pulse oximetry clamp placed at the tip of the finger.
  • Running blood checks for the acid levels.
  • Running a CT scan of the chest of the patient.
  • Chest X-rays for the final step of the test running.

Once the doctors gets the determination of the probable cause, the doctor might begin with the treatment of the patient. The people who have disorders such asthma or COPD may get an inhaled medicine that dilates or works towards the expansion of the airways.

If the doctor runs diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia, a person may be delivered with antibiotics. Since, the American Lung Association has stated that pneumonia caused by a virus does not even respond to antibiotics. Lastly, people who have a disorder related to panic have the provision to treat Tachypnea back at home utilizing the home remedies.


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