Noisy breathing, such as snoring, bubbling, gurgling, crowing, or other abnormal sounds (normal breathing is quiet)
Extremely shallow or absent breathing (airway obstructions may impair breathing)
The body will not have the necessary oxygen needed to survive if the airway is not managed quicklyand efficiently. Remember that airway positioning depends on the age and size of you patient.
Managing a patient’s airway can be complicated by the presence of a spinal injury.
Trauma patients, those who are conscious or unconscious, should be stabilized to protect their spine.
Conscious or unconscious medical patients, however may have fallen and have a potential for a spinalinjury.
It is important for you to consider spinal precautions during scene size up and evaluate the MOI and NOI further when determining the chief complaint
Thousands of deaths per year occur from airway obstruction following acute alcohol intoxication or drug overdose. Generally, these patients vomit while lying on their backs and cannot protect their airway because of a severely decreased level of consciousness. Never leave anyone who has passedout unattended. If the person cannot be continually monitored, place the patient prone or on their side,not supine
Look, listen, and feel for the presence of breathing and then assess the adequacy of breathing
A normal respiratory rate varies widely in adults, ranging from 12 to 20 breaths/min
Children breathe at even faster rates
Remember the goal of your initial assessment is to identify and treat airway, breathing, and circulation problems as quickly as possible.
Normal respirations are not usually shallow or excessively deep
Shallow respirations can be identified by little movement of the chest wall
Deep respirations cause a great deal of chest rise and fall