Figure 4-1. Actions of diaphragm and rib cage in breathing.
b. Intercostal Muscles. The intercostal muscles are the muscles that connect
one rib to another rib. When the muscles contract (shorten), the ribs are pulled up and
out. This action causes the entire rib cage to move up and out (away from the body) as
illustrated in figure 4-1. This up and out motion causes the circumference of the chest
WHAT IS A BREATHING RATE?
A patient's breathing rate is the number of complete cycles of inhalation and
exhalation that the patient performs in one minute. Like the pulse, however, taking a
patient's breathing consists of more than just counting the number of times that he
WHAT FACTORS ARE NOTED WHEN TAKING A PATIENT'S
BREATHING RATE AND QUALITY?
When taking a patient's breathing (ventilation) rate, you should note his breathing
rate, the depth and rhythm of his ventilations, the quality of his ventilations, and any
factor (such as coughing) that is not normal. Breathing should be effortless and barely
noticeable. If it is labored or noisy, too fast, or too slow, then it is not normal and should
be treated aggressively.