Ineffective Breathing Pattern

Ineffective Breathing Pattern

Ineffective Breathing Pattern


Nursing Diagnosis Definition

The nursing diagnosis for breathing deterioration is defined as "a decline in the ability to breathe properly, resulting in decreased oxygen levels in the body." This diagnosis is applicable when an individual experiences difficulty breathing, including symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, or labored breathing.

Defining Characteristics


  • Reports shortness of breath or difficulty breathing: Subjective complaint indicating challenges in breathing.
  • Expresses feelings of anxiety or panic related to breathing: Subjective indication of emotional distress associated with breathing difficulties.
  • Reports chest pain or discomfort: Subjective complaint of chest-related symptoms.


  • Observed use of accessory muscles during breathing: Objective observation of additional muscle use during breathing.
  • Observed wheezing or crackles during breathing: Objective auditory assessment of abnormal breath sounds.
  • Observed cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin or mucous membranes): Objective visual assessment indicating inadequate oxygenation.
  • Abnormal breathing rate or pattern: Objective assessment of irregular breathing.

Related Factors

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): A lung disease impairing breathing function.
  • Asthma: Chronic lung inflammation leading to airway narrowing.
  • Pneumonia: Lung infection causing inflammation and fluid accumulation.
  • Chest injury or trauma: Physical damage affecting respiratory function.
  • Anemia: Reduced red blood cells impacting oxygen transport.

Risk Population

  • Individuals with chronic lung conditions such as COPD or asthma. Additionally, those with a history of chest injury, the elderly, and individuals living in areas with poor air quality may be at increased risk.

Associated Problems

  • Decreased oxygen levels in the body (hypoxia) which can lead to organ damage or failure: Serious consequence of inadequate oxygenation.
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure due to the body's compensatory response to decreased oxygen levels: Physiological response to hypoxia.
  • Fatigue and weakness: Symptoms resulting from compromised respiratory function.
  • Anxiety and fear related to difficulty breathing: Emotional response to respiratory distress.

Suggestions for Use

  • Assess the individual's breathing patterns and oxygen levels: Conduct comprehensive evaluations of respiratory status.
  • Administer oxygen therapy as needed to improve oxygen levels in the body: Provide supplemental oxygen to enhance oxygenation.
  • Provide bronchodilators and other medications as prescribed to improve breathing: Administer pharmacological interventions to alleviate respiratory symptoms.
  • Encourage the individual to use breathing techniques and exercises to improve lung function: Promote non-pharmacological interventions for respiratory improvement.
  • Monitor the individual's response to treatment and adjust as needed: Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and modify the plan accordingly.

Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnoses

  • Impaired Gas Exchange: Difficulty in the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide leading to respiratory deterioration.
  • Acute Respiratory Distress: Sudden and severe decline in breathing function.
  • Ineffective Breathing Pattern: Abnormal respiratory rhythm contributing to breathing difficulty.

Usage Tips

  • Be aware of any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to breathing deterioration: Consider comorbidities and predisposing factors influencing respiratory function.
  • Monitor the individual's oxygen levels regularly and administer oxygen therapy as needed: Implement continuous monitoring and oxygen supplementation as appropriate.
  • Encourage the individual to use breathing techniques and exercises to improve lung function: Advocate for non-pharmacological interventions to enhance respiratory health.
  • Educate the individual and their family on the importance of adhering to treatment plans to prevent deterioration of breathing: Provide comprehensive education on respiratory management strategies.

NOC Results

  • Gas Exchange: Assessment of the individual's ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide at the cellular level.
  • Respiration: Evaluation of the individual's respiratory function and maintenance of adequate oxygen levels in the body.
  • Comfort: Assessment of the individual's comfort level and relief from symptoms associated with breathing deterioration.
  • Breathing Pattern: Evaluation of the individual's ability to maintain a normal and effective breathing pattern.

NIC Interventions

  • Oxygen Therapy: Administration of supplemental oxygen to improve oxygenation.
  • Medication Management: Provision of bronchodilators and other prescribed medications to alleviate respiratory symptoms.
  • Breathing Techniques and Exercises: Teaching the individual breathing exercises and techniques to enhance lung function.
  • Patient and Family Education: Comprehensive education for the individual and their family on respiratory management and preventive measures.

Isabella White

Hello to all nursing enthusiasts! I'm Isabella White and I'm thrilled to welcome you to this space dedicated to the exciting world of nursing. Let me share a little about myself and what we can expect together on this journey. About Me: Nursing is more than just a profession to me, it's a calling. When I'm not caring for my patients or learning more about health and wellness, you'll find me enjoying the great outdoors, exploring new trails in nature, or savoring a good cup of coffee with close friends. I believe in the balance between caring for others and self-care, and I'm here to share that philosophy with you. My Commitment to You: In this space, I commit to being your reliable guide in the world of nursing. Together, we'll explore health topics, share practical tips, and support each other on our journeys to wellness. But we'll also celebrate life beyond the hospital walls, finding moments of joy in the everyday and seeking adventures that inspire us to live fully. In summary, this is a place where nursing meets life, where we'll find support, inspiration, and hopefully a little fun along the way. Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey. Welcome to a world of care, knowledge, and connection! Sincerely, Isabella White

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