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Tachypnea

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Updated May 13, 2014

Definition: Tachypnea is the medical term for an increase in the rate of respiration (breathing). The normal respiratory rate is between 12 to 20 for adults. Anything over that is considered tachypnea.

Also known as rapid breathing, tachypnea is common in people who have emphysema, either because they are not getting enough oxygen or they are trying to "blow off" excess carbon dioxide (a waste product of metabolism) which has built up in their blood due to inadequate expulsion of inhaled air.

Tachypnea is commonly associated with dypsnea, or shortness of breath. Both are common symptoms of emphysema.

Also Known As: rapid breathing
Examples:
Mr. Jones is doing poorly. He has tachycardia (elevated heart rate) as well as tachypnea.
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