Pulmonary Q&A by Dr. Schiffman

What are the symptoms of respiratory distress?

Medical Author: George Schiffman, MD
Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD


Respiratory distress implies an increased respiratory rate (faster breathing). Respiratory distress is sometimes manifested by an exaggerated use of the muscles of respiration, such as the accessory muscles of respiration primarily around the neck and shoulders. Respiratory distress can result from a variety of causes. Anxiety, infections, heart failure, asthma, pulmonary emboli (blood clots to the lung), and neurologic dysfunction are just of few of the causes of respiratory distress.

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Last Editorial Review: 12/22/2006

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