accessory muscle of respiration

accessory muscle of respiration

Any of the muscles that are recruited to increase ventilation by patients with labored breathing. The sternocleidomastoids, scalenes, and pectoralis minors may be used for a more forceful inhalation; the abdominal muscles may be used for a more forceful exhalation. Their use represents an abnormal or labored breathing pattern and is a sign of respiratory distress.
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