A student nurse is assessing the vital signs of a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis. The student nurse notes that the rate and depth of the patient's respirations are increased. The student nurse recognizes that this type of breathing pattern is

Kussmaul's breathing


• Kussmaul’s breathing is a compensation to eliminate CO2 in the body due to metabolic acidosis. It is described as hyperventilation with an increased rate and depth.

• Cheyne-Stokes respiration commonly occurs in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), increased intracranial pressure (ICP) and drug overdose. Breathing becomes progressively deeper and faster, followed by periods of apnea. This cycle repeats.

• Cluster breathing, or Biot's respiration, is characterized by groups of quick, shallow breaths followed by periods of apnea. This is usually seen in patients with medulla damage and indicates a poor prognosis.

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