Thursday, May 5, 2016

EMT Training: Where to assess breathing sounds

An EMT comes to a scene and they need to listen to a persons lungs. This is called assessment of breath sounds or assessing the lungs. There are four different locations where assessment of breath sounds can be made. I'm sure everyone has been to the doctors where the nurse, nurse practitioner, or doctor has taken a stethoscope to four different areas of your lungs.

One area is the second intercostal space, midclavical line
Sounds here represent airflow through the larger conducting airways.
Airway structures are still supported by cartilage.
Abnormal breathing heard here include stridor and rhonchi

Assessment can be made at the third intercostal space found near the anterior axillary.

Fourth intercostal space on the Midaxillary line. Sounds heard here represent airflow through smaller conducting airways (Bronchioles). You may also be able t hear some airflow into the air sacs (alveoli). Abnormal breathing sounds heard here are crackles (rales)

Midscapular Line
While patient sitting upright, the sounds heard here represent airflow into the alveoli. This is the best location to hear alveolar airflow. Abnormal sounds would be crackling sounds coming from the lungs. This is also known as rales.

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