• Very deep and labored breathing with normal or reduced frequency. Named after Adolph Kussmaul, a 19th Century German doctor, who noticed it in his patients.
  • Very deep and rapid breathing, not necessarily labored. Sometimes results from a person being in DKA - Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Their body is no longer utilizing glucose efficiently and is essentially using fat for food, which is not always good. This produces ketones which the body tries to get rid of through the lungs. A person in DKA may have a fruity odor (smells like juicy fruit gum I've been told), or may have breath that smells like they've been drinking alcohol. I myself am unable to smell the odor.
  • A common misconception perpetuated by inaccurate medical literature is that Kussmaul breathing is rapid. It is in fact deep SLOW breaths that are a dire sign of distress in severe metabolic acidosis. An earlier respiratory response is rapid breathing but if this goes on long enough without intervention, the SLOW deep breaths of Kussmaul respiration can set in.

Copyright 2018, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy