absent breath sounds

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to absent breath sounds: bronchial breath sounds

absent breath sounds

The lack of perceptible sounds of airflow during auscultation of the patient's chest.


Absent breath sounds can be caused by a lack of breathing (apnea) or by lung disorders that block the transmission of the sounds to the surface of the chest, e.g., pneumothorax, pleural effusion.

See also: sound
References in periodicals archive ?
When auscultating the lungs, the nurse will identify decreased or absent breath sounds on the affected side.
The patient, a smoker, did not complain of any difficulty breathing, despite having diminished breath sounds over the left lung fields and absent breath sounds over the right.
Bowel sounds over the hemithorax are suggestive, although other physical findings, such as decreased or absent breath sounds, contralateral mediastinal shift, abdominal tenderness, and guarding, are nonspecific and are obscured by signs of other more obvious life-threatening injuries.