Acidosis Attempts to compensate for metabolic acidosis may

result in tachypnea. Classic example is a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis who develops tachypnea when the body attempts to correct metabolic acidosis by increasing ventilation (respiratory compensation).

3. Pain. Inadequately treated pain, from any site, may cause patient to splint chest area during ventilation, resulting in ineffective rapid, shallow breathing.

4. Fever and hypermetabolic states. All serious infectious diseases can have associated tachypnea.

5. Upper airway obstruction. Upper airway obstruction can result in tachypnea, which may be accompanied by paradoxical motion of the chest and abdomen. Causes of upper airway obstruction include, but are not limited to, laryngotracheitis (croup), tracheitis, airway foreign body, vocal cord disease, and postextubation tracheal edema.

6. Reactive airway disease. Risk factors such as an atopic family history often are present.

7. Systemic inflammatory response syndrome or sepsis. Especially when complicated by ARDS.

8. Neurogenic problems. Neurologic abnormalities and head injury may result in abnormal central respiratory drive.

9. Neuromuscular disease or weakness. Neuromuscular diseases, including myopathies, spinal cord disease (eg, spinal muscle atrophy), peripheral motor nerve disease (eg, Guillain-Barre syndrome, phrenic nerve disorders), diseases of neuro-muscular junction (eg, botulism), and skeletal muscle disease (eg, muscular dystrophy) may cause hypoxia secondary to weakness and hypoventilation.

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