Paradoxical breathing

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In medicine, paradoxical breathing , also rocking breathing or frog belly breathing , is a phenomenon in which, in contrast to normal breathing, the chest (or part of it) moves inwards when inhaling and outwards when exhaling. Possible causes include a. traumatic injuries to the chest with a series of ribs fractures, shortness of breath in children or chronic obstruction of the airways.

Paradoxical and inverse breathing show certain similarities. However, the causes are different.

In serial rib fractures , paradoxical breathing occurs when the chest in the area of ​​the fracture cannot expand during inhalation , as is normally the case. The pull of inspiration even causes the broken rib sections to be drawn in.

Without excluding the above, one speaks of paradoxical breathing in unilateral phrenic nerve palsy (failure of the phrenic nerve, which innervates the diaphragm by motor). The diaphragm on the affected side is completely slack. The rib breathing is also impaired by the corresponding elevation and failure of the diaphragm. The ribs and their origins are raised on inspiration. If the diaphragm can no longer contract, it is pulled up with it. It thus moves paradoxically.

See also


  • Werner Glinz: Thoracic Injuries: Diagnosis, Assessment and Treatment. Springer, 1978. ISBN 978-3-540-08597-3 .
  • Wolfgang Oczenski, Harald Andel, Alois Werba: Breathing - breathing aids: breathing physiology and ventilation technology. Georg Thieme Verlag, 2012. ISBN 9783131520494 .

Individual evidence

  1. Overview paradoxical breathing. Retrieved January 7, 2016 .
  2. ^ Mark Buchta, Dirk W. Höper, Andreas C. Sönnichsen: Das Hammerexamen: Repetitorium for the 2nd section of the medical examination. Urban & Fischer, 2013. ISBN 9783437296284 . P. 46