Dangers Of Failure To Monitor Respiratory Rate
The function of the respiratory system is to supply adequate oxygen to the tissues and remove the waste product carbon dioxide. This is done by breathing in and breathing out. The respirations are recorded for the following reasons.
To acquire a base line
To monitor a patient with breathing problems
To help in diagnosis of the disease
To evaluate the effects of medication to improve respiration
An increase in respiratory rate indicates a possibility of airway disease and a slowing down of the respiratory rate can be a sign of breathing fatigue or cerebral depression.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) patients suffer from respiratory problem and shortness of breath. The fluids get accumulated in the lung tissues of these patients due to high ventricular filling pressure. These patients have shortness of breath and this gets aggravated with the patient lying in bed. In addition to this, the CHF patient experiences sleep apnea during which the patient momentarily stops breathing and begins to suffocate causing him to wake up. This awakening jolts the heart muscles in to action causing stress to the heart.
There is another condition known as obstructive sleep apnea which is common with over weight people who snore and have oversize necks. During the day time they manage with keeping the throat open but during the night, the oversize neck can make the airway narrow and the tongue falls back closing the airway. The patient struggles to breathe against the collapsed throat similar as if choking. This additional breathing effort puts strain on the heart. The quality of life of CHF patient improves with improvement in respiratory function.
Hence, failure to monitor respiratory rate can lead to heart failure and death.