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Out of breath; relating to or suffering from dyspnea.


Out of breath; relating to or suffering from dyspnea.


(dis(p)-ne'a) [ dys- + -pnea]
Shortage of air resulting in labored or difficult breathing, sometimes accompanied by pain. It is normal when it is due to vigorous work or athletic activity and should quickly return to normal when the activity ceases. Synonym: air hunger; breathlessnessdyspneic (-ne-ik), adjective


The patient reports that the work of breathing is excessive. Signs of dyspnea include audibly labored breathing, hyperpnea and/or tachypnea, retraction of intercostal spaces, a distressed facial expression, dilated nostrils, paradoxical movements of the chest and abdomen, gasping, and occasionally cyanosis.

Patient care

The patient is assessed for airway patency, and a complete respiratory assessment is performed to identify additional signs and symptoms of respiratory distress and alleviating and aggravating factors. Arterial blood gas values are obtained if indicated, and oxygen saturation is monitored. The patient is placed in a high Fowler, orthopneic, or other comfortable position. Oxygen and medications are administered as prescribed, and the patient's response is evaluated and documented. The nurse or respiratory therapist remains with the patient until breathing becomes less labored and anxiety has decreased. Blood work, pulmonary function studies, chest x-ray, ECG, CT-pulmonary angiography, or other studies may be used as part of the diagnostic workup, depending on findings of the history and physical examination.

cardiac dyspnea

Dyspnea due to inadequate cardiac output, i.e., from heart failure.

expiratory dyspnea

Dyspnea associated with obstructive lung diseases such as asthma or chronic bronchitis. Wheezing is often present.

inspiratory dyspnea

Dyspnea due to interference with the passage of air to the lungs. See: stridor

paroxysmal-nocturnal dyspnea

Abbreviation: PND
Sudden attacks of dyspnea that usually occur when patients are asleep in bed. The affected patient awakens gasping for air and tries to sit up (often near a window) to relieve the symptom. PND is one of the classic symptoms of left ventricular failure, although it may also occasionally be caused by sleep apnea or by nocturnal cardiac ischemia.
References in periodicals archive ?
Predictors of elevated B-type natriuretic peptide concentrations in dyspneic patients without heart failure: an analysis from the breathing not properly multinational study.
In the midst of a dyspneic patient-recruiting frenzy one day, she remarked, "Oh God, here comes another breathing not properly patient.
Although documentation of clinical features was limited, no child was in a state of shock, and no child was reported to be dyspneic, to have bleeding complications, or to have any other clinical feature or laboratory results that indicated severe malaria (24).
Supplemental oxygen is widely overused in dyspneic patients in palliative care, he continued.
Affected infants are neither dyspneic nor generally uncomfortable.
The patient was treated for pancreatitis and lactic acidosis but rapidly became disoriented, dyspneic, and hypotensive.
to have another cardiac biomarker with profound value to assist naturetic peptides testing in evaluating the acutely dyspneic patient - with or without heart failure - would be welcome.
En route to her dialysis unit, she became increasingly dyspneic and collapsed.
On presentation to the Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center, the bird was markedly dyspneic, and an audible click could be heard on inspiration.
In our opinion, it is not necessary per se to admit all dyspneic patients with increased hs-cTnT concentrations, but a short-term reevaluation seems warranted.
He was readmitted to our hospital 9 weeks later because he had become dyspneic and febrile.
The one remaining patient was a 64-year-old male who was afebrile and dyspneic, and had a history of hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and chronic atrial fibrillation.