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Respiratory Arrest


Updated October 06, 2012

Definition: The absence or cessation of breathing. In most cases, victims that suddenly stop breathing without warning are also suffering from cardiac arrest, and should receive CPR.

Respiratory arrest also can be caused by drug overdose, severe asthma, choking, and more. Respiratory arrest victims can sometimes have slow, gasping breaths known as agonal respirations. These breaths do not provide enough oxygen to support life.

Pronunciation: res-per-a-tory ah-rest
Also Known As: apnea
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