Thursday, May 5, 2016

EMT Refresher: Abnormal breathing sounds

As an Emergency Medical Technician listens to a patients lungs they will either hear clear breathing or abnormal breathing sounds. There are three basic types of abnormal breathing sounds. They are wheezing, Rhonchi, and Rales (Crackling sound). So what do these three abnormal breathing styles sound like to a EMT?

Wheezing
High pitched musical whistling sound
Wheezing is usually heard in asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis
What is causing the wheezing is a swelling and constriction of the bronchi

Rhonchi
Snoring or rattling noises coming from the nose or lungs
Obstruction of the larger conducting airways by mucus.
Rhonchi signifies chronic bronchitis, emphysema, aspirations and pneumonia

Rales (Crackles
Bubbly or crackling sound in the lungs
Fluid that has surrounded or filled the bronchioles
Indication of pulmonary edema or pneumonia

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