see-saw breathing

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A pattern of breathing seen in complete (or almost) complete) airway obstruction. As the patient attempts to breathe, the diaphragm descends, causing the abdomen to lift and the chest to sink. The reverse happens as the diaphragm relaxes. It is almost always associated with use of the accessory muscles of respiration and drawing in (recession) of the intercostal muscles of the chest wall.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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