Breathing problems are among the most common health problems for people of all ages, but you may not know how to spot signs of respiratory distress. Whether you’re a parent monitoring your child or an adult caregiver for a senior, it’s important to know what respiratory distress looks like so you can intervene at a moment’s notice. Advanced Respiratory Care wants you to be prepared with these tips.
Signs of Respiratory Distress
Regardless of age, there are several signs that someone is in respiratory distress.
Changes in Breathing
If someone is in respiratory distress, the way they breathe will change. Their breathing may become more labored and rapid as they struggle to get the amount of oxygen they need. You may also notice they start wheezing or their nostrils flare as their body works harder to get air.
Other Physiological Signs
Respiratory distress deprives the body of the oxygen needed to sustain normal bodily functions. In addition to changes in the way someone is breathing, you may also see symptoms like:
- Changes in color – As the patient loses oxygen, areas around the fingers and mouth will turn a bluish color.
- Sweating – As the body works harder to get oxygen, the patient will begin to sweat even while sitting.
- Leaning forward – When a patient does this, it means they are trying to put their lungs in the best position to get as much air as possible.
What to Do If Someone is In Respiratory Distress
If you notice any of these symptoms or a combination of these symptoms, call 911 right away. Respiratory distress isn’t something to mess around with and getting the patient to a doctor as soon as possible is critical. While waiting for emergency services, keep the patient calm and continue to monitor their symptoms. If you have any questions about how you can be prepared to help someone experiencing respiratory distress, please contact ARC.