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Out of breath; relating to or suffering from dyspnea.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


Out of breath; relating to or suffering from dyspnea.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


(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.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Evaluation of dyspneic patients is often difficult and diagnosis process is relatively long.
For the next day, she remained severely dyspneic and unable to sustain normal Sp[O.sub.2] with supplemental [O.sub.2].
On presentation, the patient was tachycardic (heart rate 148) and appeared to be dyspneic (respiratory rate 28) with cyanosis of the oral mucous membranes and had a capillary refill time of 3 seconds.
Three radiographic projections (laterolateral right (RLL), laterolateral left (LLL) and ventrodorsal (VD) were performed, except in dyspneic animals in which only dorsoventral positioning was performed.
Two days before the planned surgery, patient at night became acutely dyspneic and with a diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, he was ventilated and prepared for surgery in the morning in a very high risk state.
The clinical significance of fibrosis in dyspneic cigarette smokers is controversial.
Dyspnea at rest was assessed using the modified Medical Research Council scale (responses 0-4, with 4 being the most dyspneic) [35].
The patient was severely dyspneic when admitted to the hospital, and intravenous furosemide (Lasix[R]) was administered.
(1,2) Dyspnea is common in patients with advanced ALS; patients become dyspneic as a result of a progressive weakening of their respiratory muscles.
More dyspneic patients are more likely to suffer from psychological comorbidities like depression and anxiety.
At presentation, her consciousness was open and she was agitated, tachypneic and dyspneic. The patient who had hypoxemic respiratory failure and bilateral extensive white lung appearance on direct lung graphy was internalized in the pediatric intensive care unit.