respiratory assessment

  1. hi i m a new nursing student. i just want to know is it normal to use accessory muscles when the patient has surgical incision on abdomen.
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    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 13; Likes: 5


  3. by   GOMER42
    With an abdominal incision, they are more likely to have thoracic breathing as compared to diaphragmatic breathing, but they should not be using accessory muscles. If anything, the breathing would more likely be shallow and more rapid (compensatory).
  4. by   ghillbert
    I can't think of any situation where it's normal to use accessory muscles to breathe. It may be expected in certain conditions, but not normal. As per above, you'd expect a person with a new abdo wound to compensate by breathing less deeply, not more.

    Of course this needs to be taken into account with the whole clinical picture - any other signs of resp distress/compromise.
  5. by   dskrninpa
    Accessory muscle use is always abnormal, but as the previous poster said there are situations where abnormal breathing is expected. This would be along the lines of a COPD patient "living" with a pCO2 in the 60s.