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ineffective breathing pattern vs inadequate gas exhange?


Hello friends,

I have question about nursing diagnoses and prioritizing them. Which would be greater priority diagnosis for patient with ARDS?

Ineffective breathing pattern or Inadequate Gas Exchange or something else that I am not aware of?

I have trouble understanding the difference between the two. Any help would be much appreciated.


ineffective breathing pattern would seem to apply to the mechanics of getting the air into the lungs?

and inadequate gas exchange refers to the alveolar level exchange of o2 and co2?

having never dealt with ARDS, i will leave that to someone else, lol


Specializes in nsg homes & homecare.

Info on ARDS....


Basically it's injury at the alveolar level that impairs gas exchange. Which in turn would more than likely cause an ineffective breathing pattern & increased heart rate, etc....cuz the body is trying to compensate for the inadequate tissue perfusion.

To be honest, I haven't seen the two diagnosis used together, but I'm only halfway through nursing. But I would think one would definitely lead to the other. i think priority would depend on which one is causing the other. If the pattern is ineffective b/c the body is having trouble meeting O2 demands b/c the gas isn't exchanging I would think working on the gas impairment first would be priority. on the other hand, if the impaired gas exchange is b/c the breathing patterns are ineffective enough that the O2 is not coming in to exchange the gas, or the CO2 is not being exhaled.....

And on the other hand.....following ABC's.....the breathing patterns are the B's, and gas exchange the C's (because it directly affects the perfusion).

Just some ideas off the top of my head. I don't think I'd use them together myself, I'd probably stick with the heart of the problem...breathing patterns or gas exchange? and go from there......good luck!

Cool beans! That made a lot of sense. It seems so obvious when you put it that way. And awesome link too.