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Respiratory arrest

Hi I am a newbie. I was just wondering if anybody could explain what a respiratory arrest is? I had an asthma attack and the ambulance staff thought I had stopped breathing, even though I was on 6L of oxygen, and they said I went unconscious and rushed me to hospital, but I came around and my oxygen went up and in Recuss I got better with iv aminophyllin and iv salbutamol and other things and I didn't end up in ICU this time. Is it a respiratory arrest if you come around on your own? I didn't get ventilated or anything.

2 Replies

Sensitive subject!!!!

A respiratory arrest is when you stop breathing.

This can be caused by numerous causes.

Asphyxia, severe asthma closing the airways & exhaustion, poisoning, paralysis etc.

Also if someone goes into cardiac arrest, they will more or less stop breathing too.

Sometimes there is ineffective breathing efforts - gasping a few times a minute. This is called agonal breathing. Sometimes this is mistaken for actual breathing. In emergency first aid you are now taught that is someone does have agonal breathing CPR must be started as the breathing is innefective at getting any oxygen into the body anyway.

You don't usually come out of a respiratory arrest without intervention such as drugs or artificial ventilation / rescusitation unless it is a simple airway blockage due to the position of the casualty - simply opening the airway can restore breathing in some cases, eg head back and into recovery position.

Hope this helps clear up your query and it isn't too scary.

1 like

Much less scary now you've explained it! Thanks :D


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