Respiratory Disorders

  • James W. Jefferson
  • John R. Marshall
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


Respiratory insufficiency or failure exists when the lungs are unable to perform their function of adequate gas exchange. Confirmation of the diagnosis is made by measurement of arterial blood gases. Useful guidelines (under resting conditions at sea level) for diagnosing arterial hypoxemia is a partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) of less than 60 mm Hg, while arterial hypercapnia would be diagnosed if the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) is greater than 49 mm Hg. Respiratory failure may be acute and fully reversible, chronic and unremitting, or chronic with superimposed acute exacerbations. Abnormal arterial blood gases are not invariably due to lung disease, as demonstrated by the low pO2 seen in association with those forms of congenital heart disease having a substantial right to left intracardiac shunt.


Respiratory Failure Tardive Dyskinesia Phrenic Nerve Respiratory Alkalosis Respiratory Depressant 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Jefferson
    • 1
  • John R. Marshall
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin Medical SchoolMadisonUSA

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